Book Hauls and TBRs: September 2019

In my last post, “Riff Raff Is One Of Rhode Island’s Best Kept Secrets” I talked about my most recent trip to one of my favorite bookstores in Rhode Island. Today, I wanted to talk a bit about what I found on the shelves and couldn’t leave behind. I’ll be talking about five books today, but only three of them were bought at Riff Raff. The last two are my official TBRs of September. As much as I would love to read all five this month, I know that’s not realistic with Fall Semester starting on Wednesday.

Book Haul

1. Providence Noir – Edited by Ann Hood

I’ve been craving Halloween since halfway through July, so horror books have been a big hit with me lately. When I saw Providence Noir on the shelf at Riff Raff, I had to have it. Set in the city where I spend most of my free time, this book is a collection of fourteen short stories meant to make readers “shiver, stories to make [them] think, stories that will show you my beautiful, noirish city in a way it’s never been highlighted before” as Ann Hood puts it. Each story takes place in a distinct area of Providence.

Right off the bat, I’m most excited to read Gold Leaf by Luanne Rice, set in Fox Point, The Autobiographical House by Amity Gaige, set on College Hill, Waterfire’s Smell Tonight by Pablo Rodriguez, set at the famous WaterFire event on the Providence River, and $1,000 Nassau by Thomas Cobb, set at Triggs Memorial Golf Course, which is located right next door to Rhode Island College, where I got my Bachelor’s degree. From what I can tell, everyone who contributed a story to this anthology is local to Providence/Rhode Island as a whole, so I’m looking forward to reading more from the authors in my state.

2. Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide – Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

I admit, I didn’t start listening to Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark’s podcast My Favorite Murder until about a month ago – before I bought the book. But in my defense, it’s been on my list to start for ages.

Now that I’m about seventeen episodes in, though, I can’t wait to start reading their book. I’ve never been too fond of memoirs, and honestly picked this book up because I saw it and went “Hey, I’ve heard of this!” Listening to Karen and Georgia sprinkle in personal anecdotes when discussing the atrocities of humanity on their true crime podcast, though, I find myself wanting to hear more about these women and their journeys. I’m excited to start this one, and always welcome tips on how to avoid being murdered!

A quick side-bar about avoiding murder: the other day I was walking on a track near my house and sat down on a bench in a shady spot, pretty hidden from the rest of the track by some overgrown shrubs and whatnot. I was looking at my phone for a few minutes, while listening to MFM, and when I looked up there was a strange man standing in the middle of the grass with his back turned to me. My internal “danger!” alarms were going off and I sat there watching him and planning an escape if necessary… and then I saw he had a dog. All alarms shut off, I got up and continued on my walk – I even pet the dog. So, like, tip number one for not getting murdered: stop trusting everyone with a dog? Come on, Ari. Karen and Georgia would be ashamed.

3. The Power – Naomi Alderman

I was only planning on buying two books at Riff Raff that day, but when I read the synopsis for this one I couldn’t leave it behind.

All over the world women and girls are discovering they have the power. With a flick of the fingers they can inflict terrible pain, and even death. And with this small twist of nature, everything changes drastically.

The Power synopsis

Do I really need to give more reason why I bought it? I am 100% here for stories that challenge the patriarchy, and this one sounds like it’ll be great.


1. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

I’ve been working on this book since the last time I was in Maryland so… April? It usually never takes me this long to read, but it’s been a busy summer. I’m planning on finishing this book in September! As of right now, I’m on page 202, and completely, hopelessly in love with Kaz Brekker.

Six of Crows is very different from what I usually read. I can’t remember the last time I read a fantasy book like this, but I’m liking it a lot more than I thought I would, despite how long it’s taking me to read it. The premise: six misfit gangsters from the fictional city of Ketterdam are plotting the biggest heist of all time. It’s dark, graphic, and so good. I’m also really loving this book for my own research purposes. Recently in my own WIP I’ve started experimenting with multiple POVs, and Six of Crows has really helped me think about that process in a more technical way.

2. Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked – Christa Carmen

I picked this book up a couple weeks ago at Necronomicon in Providence. Being a Rhode Island native and a book lover, it’s kind of required that I be a big fan of H.P. Lovecraft – and I am. While I didn’t read any of his work until high school, I grew up with his books all around the house since my dad loved him. I’ve visited his grave at Swan Point Cemetery a few times, and I even own some Cthulhu merch. So when I found out about Necronomicon, my mom and I just had to go.

It was at this con that I met Christa Carmen, the author of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked. She was one of the nicest people I talked to all day (and that’s saying something, because everyone was super friendly). When she told me about her book and handed me her phone to read the Amazon description, I knew I had to buy it. The book is an anthology of thirteen horror stories centering on female protagonists, dealing with supernatural and real-life terrors. I’m really looking forward to this one, not only for the feminist commentary I’m anticipating but also for a good, spooky read to get in the Fall mood.

And, to top it all off, Christa Carmen is a Rhode Islander. She currently lives in Westerly, which is at the southern end of the state. A local female author writing horror about women? Sign me up! She was even nice enough to sign my book before I left her booth.

There you have it! I clearly have too many books (these five books aren’t even a fraction of my actual TBR pile(s), whoops). I’m looking forward to finishing Six of Crows and getting a good scare in with Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked in the month of September, A.K.A. Halloween Eve.

In case you missed my last post, I’ve made some changes during my hiatus. One of those changes was the creation of a Patreon! If you like what I’m doing and want to see more, please consider becoming a subscriber by following the link in the Support menu above! Books are expensive and I will love you forever for your support!


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