Top Ten: Books That Need a Sequel

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was standalone books that need a sequel.

I had a really hard time with this week’s topic, y’all. The books I thought of first were either already part of a series or were so terrible that, even if I didn’t like the ending, I didn’t particularly care to read more. 😂 So, do the following books need a sequel? No, not really—but I also wouldn’t complain if they got one!

I Went to Vassar for This? by Naomi Neale
If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Miss You by Kate Eberlen
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine
The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

BONUS! The following books were standalone, but now they all have sequels!!

Geekerella by Ashley Poston
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

Top Ten: Books That Lived Up to Their Hype

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was books that lived up to their hype. Whether these books were hyped by friends, book blogs, or the press, they came with high expectations and delivered!

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates // The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown // The Fault in Our Stars by John Green // A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin // The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Lumberjanes, vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson // The Martian by Andy Weir // Renegades by Marissa Meyer // What Happened by Hillary Clinton // When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

New to the Queue #8

Jamie of Perpetual Page Turner started this and I love it so I’m (politely) stealing it!

I add a lot of stuff to my TBR list, my Netflix queue, and my library holds list. Here’s stuff I want to actually seek out and consume right now.

Stuff to Read

Before We Sleep by Jeffrey Lent // The Fact of a Body: a Murder and a Memoir by Alexandra Marzano-Lesnevich // How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu // My Favorite Thing is Monsters, vol. 1 by Emil Ferris // Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

SLAM! vol. 1 by Pamela Ribon // Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand // Trusting You and Other Lies by Nicole Williams // When the English Fall by David Williams // Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Stuff to Watch

Avengers: Infinity War // Coco  // Den of Thieves // The Handmaid’s Tale season one // Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Lady Bird // Love, Simon // My Friend Dahmer // Thumper // What We Do in the Shadows

Stuff to Listen to

Another Round // Call Me by Your Name original motion picture soundtrack // Future Friends by SUPERFRUIT // Grease Live! music from the television event // Westworld Season One music from the HBO series

Have you also added some of these? Have you already consumed them?? Let me know!

Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Title: The Handmaid’s Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Rating: ★★★★
Summary: Set in the near future, The Handmaid’s Tale describes life in what was once the United States, now a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, one Handmaid reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade. Her story is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

The Handmaid’s Tale feels like a fresh take on the current political climate – helped, in part, by the recent Hulu miniseries soon premiering its second season – but Margaret Atwood published it over 30 years ago. To both readers and author alike, the thought of a hostile government takeover by religious extremists probably seemed far-fetched… but it doesn’t really feel that way anymore when civil liberties, police brutality, and bodily autonomy still dominate the news. The nameless handmaid who narrates the novel is one of few fertile women whose sole job is to produce a child for the couple to which she’s assigned, and her story weaves days filled with, on one end, grocery shopping and daily walks and, on the other, ritualistic violence and rape.

It’s worth noting, however, that although Atwood based her society on, among other things, “17th-century American Puritan theocracy,” a lot of the plot points and inner workings derive straight from the way black women and people of color were (and unfortunately are) treated in America. As Priya Nair states in an article for Bitch, Atwood takes “the oppression of Black women and applies it indiscriminately to white women…. [but] writing a story about white supremacy with no Black characters, while using the erasure and exploitation of Black pain, is art that further silences and marginalizes Black women at its core.”

If you have even an inkling of interest, read The Handmaid’s Tale – it is hard to get through but still important to read – but don’t stop there. Maybe try some Octavia Butler and then deep do a dive into even more science fiction and fantasy novels written by women of color. Or start digesting the plethora of long-form and book-length political nonfiction on your issue of choice (which I turn to when I can’t watch one more minute of the daily news cycle). Or even just escape the real world and read and read and read. You got this.