We all know that Book of the Month is a monthly subscription service where you are suppose to pick one book a month. We also know this does not usually happen, because they generally have some awesome add-ons! I’ve seen a lot of folks asking for guidance when picking add-on both via Facebook and Instagram, so I wanted to take some time to highlight some of my favorite add-ons.
As a note I generally get three books in my box each month. Mainly because an add-on is an additional $10.99 and when getting newer books this is a steal. However, for some older books or classics, you can generally find them cheaper at Amazon, BookOutlet, Book Depository, or available at your local library.
Most of these books I have full reviews of and I’ll be linking them if you want to see my full thoughts on a particular book. Feel free to reach out to me to on Instagram @speakingof_books or by commenting below to ask me more questions around Book of the Month Add-Ons.
All recommendations are listed in no particular order other than by genre!
Last note before I get into the picks, these are the picks available as of June 28, 2022. I do my best to post updated articles every few months. All books recommend are books I have read and there may be other books available that I cannot recommend simply because I have yet to read them! You can see my recommend post from March 2020 HERE , September 2020 update HERE, and January 2021 update HERE, August 2021 update HERE.
Thrillers & Mysteries
My top Thriller and Mystery recommendations are below but two I never hear much about are The Blinds and The Last Equation of Isaac Severy. I super enjoyed both of these books and while The Blinds is for plot twist loving readers, Isaac Severy has a more somber tone but is basically a treasure hunt, which is fun! Isaac Severy does have a lot of math involved as part of the story line, which my sister who majored in math loved. Even though there was plenty of numbers, it was not a detractor for non-number loving readers like me. I read both of these years ago, so I don’t have reviews for them but highly recommend.
The Anomaly is also good. It ends on a huge cliff hanger and I think it would make a great movie. It has a slight horror aspect to it, though it’s not scary by any means. Would be a good pick for someone looking for a good conspiracy theory type book or a book with a crude sense of humor. There is a second book in the series as well, which I haven’t read.
the anomaly | review
Winter Counts was an excellent debut. It’s more on the grittier side but not quite as gritty as S.A Crosby’s writing.
If you’re looking for a police procedural that address the opioid crisis, than Long Bright River is for you.
Long bright River | review
If you want a cozy mystery, Arsenic and Adobo is cute but is predictable. I enjoyed the first in this series so much more than the sequel Homicide and Halo-Halo. The third book in the series Blackmail and Bibingka comes out this October.
Jane Harper always writes a good slow burn mystery and The Surivors is actually great on audio.
The Broken Girls is my favorite Simone St.James book and is for readers who like a bit of paranormal with their mystery.
If you want a grittier mystery than Blacktop Wastland is perfect for you.
For readers looking for a thriller with a podcast aspect The Night Swim will fit the ticket.
Paula McLain’s When the Stars Go Dark is based on a real child kidnapping. This one can be tough for anyone sensitive to child deaths or kidnappings but is written wonderfully,
I have read all the Lucy Foley, Rachel Hawkins, Lisa Jewell, and the Ruth Ware books currently available on BOTM. Their books are fine but not something I would need a physical copy of. They’re not bad, they entertain but are just not anything that stands out.
I am not a fan of Alex Michaelides and have given both The Maidens & The Silent Patient a try. I would also skip The Hunting Wives if you need to like characters. I would also skip The Winter Sisters which was subpar at best.
Reviews of other Mysteries & Thrillers Available
I will never not recommend The Hearts Invisible Furies and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. They are two of my all time favorite books. Actually anything by John Boyne and Taylor Jenkins Reid are auto reads for me. I will say that TJR’s newest books Carrie Soto is Back almost dethroned Evelyn Hugo, but we’ll talk about that another day.
Brit Bennet and Paula McLain are two other auto buy authors for me. I enjoyed The Vanishing Half more than The Mothers but both are amazing. Circling the Sun is set in Kenya and was an unexpectedly enjoyable read.
I really enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds but The Great Alone is my favorite of hers. The Great Believers is perfect for fans of The Hearts Invisible Furies, it’s a little lighter in nature but also deals with the AIDS epidemic.
If you want a little bit of magical realism or folklore mixed in with your historical fiction, both The Night Tiger and The Library of Legends are a great pick! The Night Tiger is apart of Kindle Unlimited as an FYI.
I use to not read much romance, but have started to lean on this genre more for lighter and less complex reads. Having a baby takes quite a bit of my mental capacity so I use rom-coms to entertain myself. I generally gravitate towards lighter romances and I would rather have a good Hallmarkesque story line rather than something heavy. Most of these are actually available on kindle for less than $10 as well.
I will always recommend a Emily Henry and Katherine Center books. I just love their books. They have just enough depth mixed in with the rom-com and always leave mw with warm fuzzies. My favorite Emily Henry is actually her newest on Book Lovers, with Beach Read coming in second. Things You Ave in a Fire is my favorite KC book closely followed be her newest one The Bodyguard!
I love The League of Extraordinary Women series by Evie Dunmore. If you need something to hold you over til the next season of Bridgeton comes out than this series is perfect for you. Also check out the non-BOTM series https://www.amazon.com/Have-Hoax-Novel-Martha-Waters-ebook/dp/B07THBFMMT?keywords=to+have+and+to+hoax&qid=1656600323&s=digital-text&sprefix=to+have+and+to+ho%2Cdigital-text%2C435&sr=1-1&linkCode=li2&tag=speakingof-20&linkId=781d4ae6846775e1a8b5cac8ebff93d7&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_il" target="_blank">The Regency Vows series by Martha Waters.
The Ex Hex is a perfect blend of light magic and Hallmark. I know there were alot of people who said this one was cheesy and not great, but I really liked it. It’s an easy read I had just finished Darynda Jones’ Betweixt & Between series and was in need of something similar, and this book fit the bill.
The Boyfriend Project stars a women in tech, plus the setting is in Austin, what more could I want. As a women in tech myself, this is literally one of my favorite things to read about. Highly recommend!
For my Bachelor fan, One to Watch is perfect for you. This book is all about a plus size women going on a dating show. It’s sweet, funny, and shows the underbelly of reality TV.
If you’re looking for a Christmasy/holiday read I’d recommend The Holiday Swap over In A Holidaze.
Other add-ons I have on my shelf but have not read yet: Head Over Heels, The Love Hypothesis, Helen Hoang’s books, and The Dating Plan.
Sourdough and The Philosopher’s Flight are two books I can’t stop recommending and don’t see a ton of traction for. Sourdough is more magical realism than fantasy but it’s a quick read that is excellent. Fair warning though, make sure to have some fresh bread around while you read it. The Philosopher’s Flight is the first in a duology, or at least I don’t think there will be a third book. It’s an alternative reality where magic is dependent upon chemistry and takes place during WWII. Very unique and I’m really hoping for a 3rd book.
N.K. Jemisin is such a great writer and her The City We Became series is extremely unique. There are only two books out at the moment, but it’s worth it to dive into this urban fantasy world.
If you’re looking for a bit more of a fantasy that fall into mythology than Circe is the perfect pick. I have both Ariadne and Piranesi but have not read them yet, so Circe is the only mythological book I can recommend right now.
I have been waiting years for book two to come out after reading Ninth House a few years ago. It’s a dark academic type fantasy and has secret societies, ivy league schools, and some dark magic. I am here for it!
Things in Jars, is one of those books where it takes a few chapters to get into. The writing is different but I really loved it. It’s more a detective mystery with magical realism elements rather than a true fantasy book. Either way though it’s excellent. I already have a copy of Jess Kidd’s upcoming release and I’m so excited to read it!
Practical Magic is a true classic. I love the whole series. That is all.
A River Enchanted is such a great read. I felt like I was in a song the entire time I was reading it. Completely recommend .
Of the books available currently I have also read A History of Wild Places. It was good but dragged a bit and ultimately I needed just a bit more from it.
I end up not reading a ton of literary fiction so there are quite a few of the add-ons available that I just have not read yet.
Valentine and Betty are both fantastic reads. They both have some trigger moments but they are wonderfully written.
The Gifted School has a slow build and it’s 400+ pages but I really enjoyed the unlikable characters and the drama. I think it’s very timely with all the school issues that have been popping up. It’s perfect if you like Desperate Housewives and badly behaving parents.
The Girls! I love this book. Based on The Manson Family, but it’s not a horror or thriller book. It’s more a story of growing up and loneliness. This was an excellent debut!
While The Vanishing Half is my favorite of Bennett’s work so far, The Mothers is still a fantastic read about community and love.
Lastly The Water Dancer is a fabulous mix of magical realism and historical fiction. A stunning story.
Other Reviews and books I have read include: The Knockout Queen, The Animators, Goodbye Vitamin, and Lucky You. The only one I even remotely recommend is The Animators but it was not my favorite. Goodbye Vitamin and The Knockout Queen ended up being such sad stories ,and Lucky You was awful and I’m sad I spent time reading it.
These four books of some of my absolute favorites. They are such wonderfully written, and impactful stories. What Comes After is a stellar debut that while it’s a mystery, it focuses on the concept of grief and how people interact. It was one of my top reads of 2021.
Beyond the Point is fascinating. It’s the story of a group of girls going through WestPoint and their military careers. I grew up in a military family and it just hit home for me on quite a few topics. There are some sad moments, but it’s ultimately about the power of friendship.
I’ll pretty much read anything from Brit Bennett nowadays and The Vanishing Half is my favorite release of hers so far.
We are the Brennans is perfect if you want a family drama. It’s a fast reading debut and I highly recommend it.
I do not recommend The Removed at all. I felt like I was in a fever dream the entire time and have no idea what the point of the story was.
Other reviews and books I’ve read that are fine. Not outstanding but entertaining.
C.J. Tudor is so underrated! I love all of her books. They have great suspense and story lines highly recommend grabbing her debut for an atmospheric read.
I also really enjoyed both of Alex North’s books. While you don’t have to read them in order, there are some references to to The Whisper Man in The Shadows so I would read them in order of release. Note that The Whisper Man is included in KindleUnlimited!
I wouldn’t actually classify most of the Horror options as horror. Riley Sager’s books are more thriller than anything else, and Finals Girls is my favorite followed by The Last Time I Lied. Both Lock Every Door and Home Before Dark were letdowns for me and straight up did not like his newest release The House Across the Lake.
While I love Simone St. James The Sundown Motel is good but not her best book. Broken Girls is by far my favorite of hers. She always has a strong paranormal presence in her books so if you like ghost stores they’re a great option.
I am not a fan of Mexican Gothic. The ending is trippy and fever dreamy. I know I’m the odd ball out but I don’t recommend it.
The Holdout, A Nearly Normal Family, and Miracle Creek are all great legal thrillers. If I had to pick one Miracle Creek would be my top recommendation. I love that the mystery is good, the legal aspect is strong, and it also discuss the struggles of raising kids with special needs.
I never seen anything about An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and it’s such a good read! It’s the first in a series and demonstrates the power of social media. The second book in the series was a BOTM add-on option at one time but it’s no longer available.
The Power is perfect for right now. If you liked The Change and need another feminist sci-fi book than this will be the perfect read for you.
Black Crouch and Andy Weir are both auto read sci-fi authors for me. Crouch’s books can be a bit technical but they’re always twisty and boarder on falling into the thriller genre. The Martian is also another case of ‘the book was better’. I enjoyed the movie but book was great!
I also read The Municipalists and Golden State. The Municipalists was okay but nothing great, I would skip it honestly. Golden State had such potential but the ending fell flat and read like a series but it’s not a series.
I’ll caveat this by saying I don’t read a ton of non-fiction. I like true crime but I have to be in a certain mood to get into non-fiction. I’ve combined Narrative nonfiction, memoir, history, and true crime into one category. All of the below are excellent and I totally recommend.
I do not recommend Leaving the Witness and My Friend Anna. Leaving the Witness, I thought I would get way more about the way the churched worked which is what I was looking for when I picked it up. It was okay, not terrible but not great. While the new Netflix show seems to be getting good reviews, My Friend Anna is not good. It’s 300 pages of the author repeating herself.
I hope you found a book that you are truly excited about in this post and enough to fill your little blue boxes! Let me know which other BOTM books you love by commenting below or by messaging me on Instagram @speakingof_books. Don’t forget to follow me to get weekly updates and new reviews!
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