NetGalley Approvals For The Week

Someone needs to stop me!

I love NetGalley! I’ve read some gorgeous books because of it, but I also have a 56% feedback ratio that I’ll never catch up on!

I have to read 109 books to get to the elusive 80%! I needed to read fewer books at the start of the week, but of course I had to request things, and wishes had to come true!

Here are 7 amazing approvals I got this week!

1. Butts by Heather Radke

Title: Butts: A Backstory
Author: Heather Rake
Release Date: 22nd November, 2022
Publisher: Avid Reader Press 

Blurb:

Whether we love them or hate them, think they’re sexy, think they’re strange, consider them too big, too small, or anywhere in between, humans have a complicated relationship with butts. It is a body part unique to humans, critical to our evolution and survival, and yet it has come to signify so much more: sex, desire, comedy, shame. A woman’s butt, in particular, is forever being assessed, criticized, and objectified, from anxious self-examinations trying on jeans in department store dressing rooms to enduring crass remarks while walking down a street or high school hallways. But why? In Butts: A Backstory, reporter, essayist, and RadioLab contributing editor Heather Radke is determined to find out. 

Spanning nearly two centuries, this vivid cultural history takes us from the performance halls of 19th-century London to the aerobics studios of the 1980s, the music video set of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” and the mountains of Arizona, where every year humans and horses race in a feat of gluteal endurance. Along the way, she meets evolutionary biologists who study how butts first developed; models whose measurements have defined jean sizing for millions of women; and the fitness gurus who created fads like “Buns of Steel.” She also examines the central importance of race through figures like Sarah Bartmann, once known as the “Venus Hottentot,” Josephine Baker, Jennifer Lopez, and other women of color whose butts have been idolized, envied, and despised. 

Part deep dive reportage, part personal journey, part cabinet of curiosities, Butts is an entertaining, illuminating, and thoughtful examination of why certain silhouettes come in and out of fashion—and how larger ideas about race, control, liberation, and power affect our most private feelings about ourselves and others.

2. Ledge by Stacey McEwan

Title: Ledge
Author: Stacey McEwan
Release Date: 13th September, 2022
Publisher: Angry Robot 

Blurb:

The stunning debut novel from TikTok sensation Stacey McEwan (stacebookspace), Ledge is the fantasy quest of the year, with a sizzling enemies to lovers romance. 

In a place known as The Ledge, a civilization is trapped by a vast chasm and sheer mountain face. Rations are small, living is tough and there is no way to escape without befalling a deathly drop. What’s more, every season the people must present themselves as a human sacrifice to the Glacians – mysterious winged creatures who reside beyond The Ledge.

Dawsyn, axe wielder and only remaining member of her family, has so far avoided the annual culling, but her luck has run out. She is ripped from her icy home with no idea what will happen to her on the other side. Enslaved? Murdered? Worse?

Fortunately, a half-Glacian called Ryon offers to help them both escape, but how can she trust one of the very creatures that plagued her life? Dawsyn is a survivor, and she is not afraid to cut anyone down to live. 

3. The Society for Soulless Girls by Laura Steven

Title: The Society for Soulless Girls
Author: Laura Steven
Release Date: 13th September, 2022
Publisher: Angry Robot 

Blurb:

Ten years ago, four students lost their lives in the infamous North Tower murders at the elite Carvell College of Arts, forcing Carvell to close its doors.

Now Carvell is reopening, and fearless student Lottie is determined to find out what really happened. But when her roommate, Alice, stumbles upon a sinister soul-splitting ritual hidden in Carvell’s haunted library, the North Tower claims another victim.

Can Lottie uncover the truth before the North Tower strikes again? Can Alice reverse the ritual before her monstrous alter ego consumes her? And can they stop flirting for literally fifteen seconds in order to do this?

Exploring possession and ambition, lust and bloodlust, femininity and violence, The Society of Soulless Girls is perfect for fans of Ace of Spaces, The Secret History and The Inheritance Games.

The Killing Code by Ellie Marney

Title: The Killing Code
Author: Ellie Marney
Release Date: 13th September, 2022
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

A historical mystery about a girl who risks everything to track down a vicious serial killer, for fans of The Enigma Game and Last Night at the Telegraph Club.

Virginia, 1943: World War II is raging in Europe and on the Pacific front when Kit Sutherland is recruited to help the war effort as a codebreaker at Arlington Hall, a former girls’ college now serving as the site of a secret US Signal Intelligence facility. But Kit is soon involved in another kind of fight: government girls are being brutally murdered in Washington DC, and when Kit stumbles onto a bloody homicide scene, she is drawn into the hunt for the killer.

To find the man responsible for the gruesome murders and bring him to justice, Kit joins forces with other female codebreakers at Arlington Hall—gossip queen Dottie Crockford, sharp-tongued intelligence maven Moya Kershaw, and cleverly resourceful Violet DuLac from the segregated codebreaking unit. But as the girls begin to work together and develop friendships—and romance—that they never expected, two things begin to come clear: the murderer they’re hunting is closing in on them…and Kit is hiding a dangerous secret.

5. The Grief Nurse by Angie Spoto

Title: The Grief Nurse
Author: Angie Spoto
Release Date: 9th February, 2023
Publisher: Sandstone Press

Blurb:

Imagine you could be rid of your sadness, your anxiety, your heartache, your fear. 

Imagine you could take those feelings from others and turn them into something beautiful. 

Lynx is a Grief Nurse. Kept by the Asters, a wealthy, influential family, to ensure they’re never troubled by negative emotions, she knows no other life.

When news arrives that the Asters’ eldest son is dead, Lynx does what she can to alleviate their Sorrow. As guests flock to the Asters’ private island for the wake, bringing their own secrets, lies and grief, tensions rise.

Then the bodies start to pile up.

With romance, intrigue and spectacular gothic world-building, this spellbinding debut novel is immersive and unforgettable.

6. Unquiet Spirits by Lee MurrayAngela Yuriko SmithLisa Kröger

Title: Unquiet Spirits
Author:  Lee MurrayAngela Yuriko SmithLisa Kröger
Release Date: 14th February, 2023
Publisher: Black Spot Books

Blurb:

From hungry ghosts, vampiric babies, and shapeshifting fox spirits to the avenging White Lady of urban legend, for generations, Asian women’s roles have been shaped and defined through myth and story. In Unquiet Spirits, Asian writers of horror reflect on the impact of superstition, spirits, and the supernatural in this unique collection of 21 personal essays exploring themes of otherness, identity, expectation, duty, and loss, and leading, ultimately, to understanding and empowerment.

Unquiet Spirits is edited by multi-Bram Stoker Award®-winning author Lee Murray and Stoker®-winner Angela Yuriko Smith and includes a foreword by Stoker®-winner Lisa Kröger. This is the third in Murray and Smith’s series on Asian women-in-horror, which also includes the poetry collection TORTURED WILLOWS (2021) and the fiction short story collection, BLACK CRANES (2020), both of which have previously won the Bram Stoker Award®.

7. Marple: Twelve New Stories by Agatha Christie; Naomi Alderman; Leigh Bardugo; Alyssa Cole; Lucy Foley; Elly Griffiths; Natalie Haynes; Jean Kwok; Val McDermid; Karen M. McManus; Dreda Say Mitchell; Kate Mosse; Ruth Ware

Title: Marple: Twelve New Stories
Author: (loads)
Release Date: 15th September, 2022
Publisher: HarperCollins

Blurb:

This collection of twelve original short stories, all featuring Jane Marple, will introduce the character to a whole new generation. Each author reimagines Agatha Christie’s Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery.
· Naomi Alderman
· Leigh Bardugo
· Alyssa Cole
· Lucy Foley
· Elly Griffiths
· Natalie Haynes
· Jean Kwok
· Val McDermid
· Karen M. McManus
· Dreda Say Mitchell
· Kate Mosse
· Ruth Ware

Miss Marple was first introduced to readers in a story Christie wrote for The Royal Magazine in 1927 and made her first appearance in a full-length novel in 1930’s The Murder at the Vicarage. It has been 45 years since Agatha Christie’s last Marple novel, Sleeping Murder, was published posthumously in 1976, and this collection of ingenious new stories by twelve Christie devotees will be a timely reminder why Jane Marple remains the most famous fictional female detective of all time.

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