Top Ten Tuesday

TTT – Upcoming Releases By Jewish Authors

Top Ten Tuesday used to be a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. “It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” This is definitely something I can understand and want to participate in.

As you guys may know, the last couple of weeks have been hellish for Jewish people. We sign on to social media every day and find a storm of antisemitism, in posts and reporting attacks on people around the world. If you weren’t aware of that, check in with your Jewish friends, because we’re hurting, scared, tired, and most of all, feeling alone. In light of that, I want to call attention to some of the Jewish books that are going to be released in the next few months. Here are some that I’m really looking forward to:

Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

A ghostwriter and a struggling actor help each other on the page and in the bedroom in this steamy romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling author of The Ex Talk.

Chandler Cohen has never felt more like the ghost in “ghostwriter” until she attends a signing for a book she wrote—and the author doesn’t even recognize her. The evening turns more promising when she meets a charming man at the bar and immediately connects with him. But when all their sexual tension culminates in a spectacularly awkward hookup, she decides this is one night better off forgotten.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Her next project is ghostwriting a memoir for Finn Walsh, a C-list actor best known for playing a lovable nerd on a cult classic werewolf show who now makes a living appearing at fan conventions across the country. But Chandler knows him better from their one-night stand of hilarious mishaps.

Chandler’s determined to keep their partnership as professional as possible, but when she admits to Finn their night together wasn’t as mind-blowing as he thought it was, he’s distraught. He intrigues her enough that they strike a deal: when they’re not working on his book, Chandler will school Finn in the art of satisfaction. As they grow closer both in and out of the bedroom, they must figure out which is more important, business or pleasure—or if there’s a way for them to have both.

Mrs. Nash’s Ashes by Sarah Adler

A starry-eyed romantic, a cynical writer, and (the ashes of) an elderly woman take the road trip of a lifetime that just might upend everything they believe about true love.

Millicent Watts-Cohen is on a mission. When she promised her elderly best friend that she’d reunite her with the woman she fell in love with nearly eighty years ago, she never imagined that would mean traveling from D.C. to Key West with three tablespoons of Mrs. Nash’s remains in her backpack. But Millie’s determined to give her friend a symbolic happily-ever-after, before it’s (really) too late–and hopefully reassure herself of love’s lasting power in the process.

She just didn’t expect to have a living travel companion.

After a computer glitch grounds flights, Millie is forced to catch a ride with Hollis Hollenbeck, an also-stranded acquaintance from her ex’s MFA program. Hollis certainly does not believe in happily-ever-afters–symbolic or otherwise–and makes it quite clear that he can’t fathom Millie’s plan ending well for anyone.

But as they contend with peculiar bed-and-breakfasts, unusual small-town festivals, and deer with a death wish, Millie begins to suspect that her reluctant travel partner might enjoy her company more than he lets on. Because for someone who supposedly doesn’t share her views on romance, Hollis sure is becoming invested in the success of their journey. And the closer they get to their destination, the more Millie has to admit that maybe this trip isn’t just about Mrs. Nash’s love story after all–maybe it’s also about her own.

Speechless by Lindsey Lanza

When life’s off-key, go to Malibu

Bestselling author Lucy Gold may write fairy tales for a living, but her own happily ever after is looking bleak. Seeking a fresh start after a sudden divorce on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, she decides to make a new life for herself and her service dog in Los Angeles. But when her living arrangements fall through just before takeoff, a handsome stranger offers to let her stay with him and his motley crew of musicians in Malibu. Her gallant hero? None other than Henry Turner, the award-winning composer whose music has held Lucy together while her life’s been crumbling apart.

Henry might be at the peak of his creative career, but his crippling anxiety throws his personal life completely out of tune. Yet all of that changes the longer Lucy stays with him and his housemates, swiftly becoming one of their own and offering Henry a glimpse of happiness he never thought possible. As their relationship deepens, Lucy’s attraction to Henry cannot be denied, but as she works through the aftermath of her divorce, she’s resigned to give up on love. Henry plays all the right notes and says all the right words. Will Lucy be able to hear them over her fear of the past repeating itself?

Speechless is a swoony saga about finding your people, overcoming your deepest insecurities, and choosing happiness no matter what life throws at you. 

Best Served Hot by Amanda Elliot

Two restaurant critics learn their opposing tastes might make for a five-star relationship in the next foodie romantic comedy from the author of Sadie on a Plate.

By day, Julie Zimmerman works as an executive assistant. After hours, she’s @JulieZeeEatsNYC, a social media restaurant reviewer with over fifty thousand followers. As much as she loves her self-employed side gig, what Julie really wants is to be a critic at a major newspaper, like the New York Scroll. The only thing worse than the Scroll’s rejection of her application is the fact that smarmy, social-media-averse society boy Bennett Richard Macalester Wright snagged her dream job.

While at the Central Park Food Festival, Julie confronts the annoyingly handsome Bennett about his outdated opinions on social media and posts the resulting video footage. Julie’s follower count soars—and so does the Scroll’s. Julie and Bennett grudgingly agree to partner up for a few reviews to further their buzz. Online buzz, obviously.

Over tapas, burgers, and more, Julie and Bennett connect over their shared love of food. But when the competitive fire between them turns extra spicy, they’ll have to decide how much heat their relationship can take.

Once More with Feeling by Elisa Sussman

A former pop star finds herself back in the spotlight–along with an old flame from her past–in this “friends to lovers” meets “enemies to lovers” romance from the bestselling author of Funny You Should Ask, the sensational Tik Tok romance!

Then. Katee Rose is living the dream as America’s number one pop star, caught in a whirlwind of sold-out concerts, screaming fans, and constant tabloid coverage. Everyone wants to know everything about her and her boyfriend, Ryan LaNeve, the hottest member of adored boy band CrushZone. Katee loves to perform but hates the impossible demands of stardom. Maybe that’s why she finds herself in the arms of another CrushZone member, Cal Kirby. Quiet, serious Cal, who’s always been a good friend to Katee, is suddenly Cal with the smoldering eyes and very good hands. One unforgettable night is all it takes to blow up Katee’s relationship with Ryan, her career, her whole life…

Now. Kathleen Rosenberg is okay with her ordinary existence, and leaving her pop star image in the past. That is, until Cal Kirby shows up with the opportunity of her dreams–a starring role in the Broadway show he’s directing and a chance to perform the way she’s always wanted. The two haven’t spoken since the joint destruction of their careers, and each of them blames the other, making their reunion a tense battle of wits and egos. Katee reluctantly agrees to the musical, as long as she keeps her guard up around Cal. But rehearsals are long, those eyes still smolder, and those hands are still very good. Despite everything, Katee can’t deny the chemistry between them. Is it ever a good idea to reignite old flames? Especially if you’ve been burned in the past? 

Someone Just Like You by Meredith Schorr

Sizzling chemistry and tender friendship develops between two childhood rivals in this hilarious rom-com from the author of As Seen on TV.

Jude Stark is the bane of Molly Blum’s existence. The former neighbors and complete opposites began a rivalry in grade school that continued all the way through high school, consisting of fights, pranks, and generally one‑upping each other—until one over-the-top prank changed everything. A decade later, their siblings have forced them to collaborate on a surprise co‑wedding anniversary celebration for their parents, and soon Molly and Jude are reverting to their old tricks.

But eventually, a reluctant friendship develops…along with an unexpected spark of sexual tension. The two come to discover they have more in common than they thought, including continually dating doppelgängers of each other, raising the question why are they seeking in romantic partners what they claim to hate about each other. They finally give in to their growing feelings, but will that old competitive spirit take over, or will they finally realize being on the same team is a lot more fun?

Sizzle Reel by Carlyn Greenwald

An unputdownable queer rom-com about life and love in Hollywood.

For aspiring cinematographer Luna Roth, coming out as bisexual at twenty-four is proving more difficult than she anticipated. Sure, her best friend and fellow queer Romy is thrilled for her—but she has no interest in coming out to her backwards parents, she wouldn’t know how to flirt with a girl if one fell at her feet, and she has no sexual history to build off. Not to mention she really needs to focus her energy on escaping her emotionally-abusive-but-that’s-Hollywood talent manager boss and actually get working under a real director of photography anyway.

When she meets twenty-eight-year-old A-list actress Valeria Sullivan around the office, Luna thinks she’s found her solution. She’ll use Valeria’s interest in her cinematography to get a PA job on the set of Valeria’s directorial debut—and if Valeria is as gay as Luna suspects, and she happens to be Luna’s route to losing her virginity, too . . . well, that’s just an added bonus. Enlisting Romy’s help, Luna starts the juggling act of her life—impress Valeria’s DP to get another job after this one, get as close to Valeria as possible, and help Romy with her own career moves.

But when Valeria begins to reciprocate romantic interest in Luna, the act begins to crumble—straining her relationship with Romy and leaving her job prospects precarious. Now Luna has to figure out if she can she fulfill her dreams as a filmmaker, keep her best friend, and get the girl. . . or if she’s destined to end up on the cutting room floor.

Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler

A queer Sliding Doors YA rom-com in which a girl must choose between summer in NYC with her dad (and the girl she’s always wanted) or LA with her estranged mom (and the guy she never saw coming).

In Dahlia Adler’s Going Bicoastal, there’s more than one path to happily ever after.

Natalya Fox has twenty-hours to make the biggest choice of her life: stay home in NYC for the summer with her dad (and finally screw up the courage to talk to the girl she’s been crushing on), or spend it with her basically estranged mom in LA (knowing this is the best chance she has to fix their relationship, if she even wants to.) (Does she want to?)

How’s a girl supposed to choose?

She can’t, and so both summers play out in alternating timelines – one in which Natalya explores the city, tries to repair things with her mom, works on figuring out her future, and goes for the girl she’s always wanted. And one in which Natalya explores the city, tries to repair things with her mom, works on figuring out her future, and goes for the guy she never saw coming.

Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli 

With humor and insight, #1 New York Times bestseller Becky Albertalli explores the nuances of sexuality, identity, and friendship.

Imogen Scott may be hopelessly heterosexual, but she’s got the World’s Greatest Ally title locked down.

She’s never missed a Pride Alliance meeting. She knows more about queer media discourse than her very queer little sister. She even has two queer best friends. There’s Gretchen, a fellow high school senior, who helps keep Imogen’s biases in check. And then there’s Lili—newly out and newly thriving with a cool new squad of queer college friends.

Imogen’s thrilled for Lili. Any ally would be. And now that she’s finally visiting Lili on campus, she’s bringing her ally A game. Any support Lili needs, Imogen’s all in.

Even if that means bending the truth, just a little.

Like when Lili drops a tiny queer bombshell: she’s told all her college friends that Imogen and Lili used to date. And none of them know that Imogen is a raging hetero—not even Lili’s best friend, Tessa.

Of course, the more time Imogen spends with chaotic, freckle-faced Tessa, the more she starts to wonder if her truth was ever all that straight to begin with. . .

Don’t Want To Be Your Monster by Deke Moulton

Two vampire brothers must set aside their differences to solve a series of murders in this humorous and delightfully spooky novel for young readers. For fans of Too Bright to See.

Adam and Victor are brothers who have the usual fights over the remote, which movie to watch and whether or not it’s morally acceptable to eat people. Well, not so much eat . . . just drink a little blood. They’re vampires, hiding in plain sight with their eclectic yet loving family.

Ten-year-old Adam knows he has a better purpose in life (well, death) than just drinking blood, but fourteen-year-old Victor wants to accept his own self-image of vampirism. Everything changes when bodies start to appear all over town, and it becomes clear that a vampire hunter may be on the lookout for the family. Can Adam and Victor reconcile their differences and work together to stop the killer before it’s too late?

Do you have any of these on your TBR? Which ones have I missed?

36 replies »

  1. It’s awful. Honestly, Twitter (the social media I see most of) has been horrendous. Thank you for sharing these. I think Mrs Nash and the last one look like a lot of fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great topic choice! It is not only disheartening but also angry-making the way antisemitism has taken off again. It’s always been there to some degree unfortunately, but it does seem like there’s an uptick in violence and hate speech.

    All of the books you highlight appeal to me. Best Served Hot and Speechless are definitely on my radar, and I will have to look for the others as well. Don’t Want to Be Your Monster sounds like a lot of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really looking forward to all of these – just got approved for Speechless, but I’m most excited about Don’t Want to Be Your Monster! I figure I can use my tiny platform to speak up and hopefully make a difference.

      Like

  3. I’m so sorry about everything going on in the world. It is so incredibly unfair. I hope you are doing okay, I can imagine it must be so very upsetting. All of the books you chose look amazing! They definitely deserve to be put in the spotlight 🙂 Wishing you well!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an excellent list and so uplifting in the current client. I know this isn’t really usually a political forum, but I’m so sorry for the terrible turn America is making in so many area. Thank goodness there are still good people in the world; unfortunately they’re not usually the loudest. We need to speak up louder! Hope you enjoy every one of those stories.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys
    https://www.bookshelfjourneys.com/post/ttt-strong-women

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you – America is a scary place to live right now, especially as a Jewish person, but I’m glad for the supportive people I’m surrounded by. I appreciate your support as well.

      Like

  5. Thank you for sharing these and giving these author’s a light. All of them seem interesting, especially the last one. I may have to look deeper into these and add some to my TBR (the ever growing list of books that may never be read in my life time but I am trying).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The books look great! 🙂 I enjoy reading about other view points and cultures, so I’ll definitely be checking these out.
    Thank you for choosing such a bold topic. I don’t watch the news or use social media much at all because I find it too depressing. This is the first I’ve heard of it, and I’m so sorry. It’s not fair at all and it doesn’t make any sense why people target groups like this. I just wish people would “live and let live” so to speak. It benefits no one and only breeds hate. I hope things turn around quickly for the whole community xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the support! I generally try to highlight Jewish OwnVoices books as often as possible and review them throughout the year, but usually do this kind of post in December when all the Christmas book posts come up lol.

      This kind of stuff is something many of us have lived with our whole lives, although it’s definitely been getting worse lately. I hope you do give these books a chance and learn more about our culture – it’s such a beautiful one with so much to offer. 💙

      Like

    • Twitter is absolutely the worst! I joined Hive and was liking it but the server has been down 😞 so I can’t quite quit Twitter just yet, as much as I’d like to.

      I’m really excited for these books! Hopefully this’ll even get more people interested in them as well.

      Like

  7. Hi Leah!
    I am just over halfway through The Metzah Ball. I’ve had to take a break because it’s got me so emotional. It’s so well written. I have a hidden disability too and I knew so badly by how she writes that the author does too. It’s one of those rare books that’s made me confront a lot of things. I even sent her a message on the website to say thank you 🙂
    Anyway, I just wanted to pop you a message to say thank you too. I already had the book and it was on my tbr list (and I also really wanted to read it!) But I probably wouldn’t have read it for a while yet if it wasn’t for your post 🙂 turns out the book is actually pretty special.
    I hope you’re doing well, and thank you 🙂 stay strong ok? X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your message! I also have a hidden disability, so I was able to identify with the story on that level too, and it’s incredible to feel seen in that way in a book. Meltzer is really a very talented author and such a great person – she shares more about herself on Instagram. I’m so glad that I influenced you to read it earlier than planned! 😍 And I appreciate the concern and support – that means the world to me. 💙

      Like

      • :’) being honest, I’ve never read a book that’s shown it as realistically as this one has. Normally it stops at the ‘obvious’ symptoms. It’s so hard to describe it to others, so this book makes me feel like I can shove it at other people to explain lol. She does it so well! And it’s ok 🙂 I didn’t think you would mind and I just really wanted to thank you 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

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