Explanation: It has become apparent that my TBR (to be read) list has gotten nearly out of hand. Therefore, I have decided to do a post featuring ten books from it approximately every other week. As I go through the list, I will evaluate each book and decide whether or not it still belongs. Who knows, perhaps as my list (hopefully) shrinks, you will find a few books to add to your own want-to-read list!
The last time I did this type of post was April 20th. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 689 books. Today it has 694. I have gone through 70 books.
#71. The Pilgrim’s Regress by C.S. Lewis
Synopsis: The first book written by C.S. Lewis after his conversion, The Pilgrim’s Regress is the record of Lewis’s own search for meaning and spiritual satisfaction, a search that eventually led him to Christianity. This brilliant, Bunyanesque allegory tells a fascinating story and constitutes an effective Christian apologia.
Comments: This is definitely still something that I want to eventually read. Given the title, it would probably make sense to brush up on Pilgrim’s Progress first though, It’s been quite a few years since I read that, and I didn’t understand a lot of it at the time.
#72. Metamorphoses by Ovid
Synopsis: Prized through the ages for its splendor and its savage, sophisticated wit, The Metamorphoses is a masterpiece of Western culture–the first attempt to link all the Greek myths, before and after Homer, in a cohesive whole, to the Roman myths of Ovid’s day. Horace Gregory, in this modern translation, turns his poetic gifts toward a deft reconstruction of Ovid’s ancient themes, using contemporary idiom to bring today’s reader all the ageless drama and psychological truths vividly intact
Comments: I don’t know…I’ve never really enjoyed most classic myths, and while I appreciate their cultural value, I don’t think this is what I want to spend my time on at the moment. It will always still be there if I change my mind.
#73. The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi
Synopsis: Driver’s ed and a first crush should be what Alex Winchester is stressed out about in high school – and she is. But what’s really on her mind is her mother. Why is she dressing in Dad’s baggy khaki pants with a silk scarf around her neck? What is she planning when she pores over maps in the middle of the night? When did she stop being Mom and start being Amelia Earhart? Alex tries to keep her budding love life apart from the growing disaster at home as her mother sinks further into her delusions. But there are those nights, when everyone else is asleep, when it’s easier to confide in Amelia than it ever was to Mom. Now, as Amelia’s flight plans become more intense, Alex is increasingly worried that Amelia is planning her final flight – the flight from which she never returns. What could possibly be driving Mom’s delusions, and how far will they take her?
Comments: This sounds too much like cliche YA for my current tastes. The cover looks really cool though!
#74. Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery
Synopsis: Anne’s own true love, Gilbert Blythe, is finally a doctor, and in the sunshine of the old orchard, among their dearest friends, they are about to speak their vows. Soon the happy couple will be bound for a new life together and their own dream house, on the misty purple shores of Four Winds Harbor.
A new life means fresh problems to solve, fresh surprises. Anne and Gilbert will make new friends and meet their neighbors: Captain Jim, the lighthouse attendant, with his sad stories of the sea; Miss Cornelia Bryant, the lady who speaks from the heart — and speaks her mind; and the tragically beautiful Leslie Moore, into whose dark life Anne shines a brilliant light.
Comments: This book shouldn’t be on this list. The problem with reading a series out of order (as I did with the Anne series), is that I know I have read all but one book. Reading this synopsis, I’m sure that I read this book. There must be another in the series that I missed somehow.
Decision: Remove from list and mark as already read
#75. Violins of Autumn by Amy McAuley
Synopsis: When the Germans begin bombing London in World War II, Betty is determined to do her part. Instead of running air raid drills like most girls her age, she lies about her age and trains to become a spy. Now known by her secret agent persona, Adele Blanchard, she finds herself parachuting over German-occupied France under the cover of darkness to join the secret Resistance movement. Prepared to die for her cause, Adele wasn’t expecting to make a new best friend in her fellow agent or fall for a handsome American pilot. With the brutality of war ever present, can Adele dare to dream of a future where the world is at peace and she is free to live and love of her own accord?
Comments: There are a lot of different ways this story could play out, and I am sure that I would not enjoy all of them. I would keep it on my list and hope that it lives up to its potential, but a quick search of my library’s catalog shows that they don’t have it, and I would not want to buy this without first knowing whether I will enjoy it.
#76. The Encyclopedia of Me by Karen Rivers
Synopsis: Tink Aaron-Martin has been grounded AGAIN after an adventure with her best friend Freddie Blue Anderson. To make the time pass, she decides to write an encyclopedia of her life from “Aa” (a kind of lava–okay, she cribbed that from the real encyclopedia) to “Zoo” (she’s never been to one, but her brothers belong there).
As the alphabet unfolds, so does the story of Tink’s summer: more adventures with Freddie Blue (and more experiences in being grounded); how her family was featured in a magazine about “Living with Autism,” thanks to her older brother Seb–and what happened after Seb fell apart; her growing friendship, and maybe more, with Kai, a skateboarder who made her swoon (sort of). And her own sense that maybe she belongs not under “H” for “Hideous,” or “I” for “Invisible,” but “O” for “Okay.”
Written entirely in Tink’s hilarious encyclopedia entries, The Encyclopedia of Me is both a witty trick and a reading treat for anyone who loves terrific middle-grade novels.
Comments: I’m intrigued by the fact that this is written as encyclopedia entries made by a middle-schooler, but I don’t an interesting format is enough to carry a book. The story side of it doesn’t hold any real interest for me, so it’s time to let this one go.
#77. Until the Beginning (After the End #2) by Amy Plum
Synopsis: When Juneau’s clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people’s gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.
Juneau and her new companion Miles’s cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau’s people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people – and herself – Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.
Comments: The first book in this series is so confusing. I had no idea what the big picture was or what was really going on most of the time. This led to a lot of remaining questions at the end, so I put the next book on this list and decided to hope that it would answer my questions. It’s now been a few years since I read the first book, and I don’t really care about the series any more. It was interesting, but, there are more intriguing books out there.
#78. Your Heart’s Desire by Melody Carlson
Synopsis: It’s almost New Year’s 1946, a perfect time for Caroline Marshall to start a new chapter in her life. Widowed three years ago when she lost her husband in the war, she has decided to move with her nine-year-old son to join her sister’s family in sunny California. Her sister’s new house has a basement apartment for Caroline to rent, and though jobs for women are scarce with so many veterans returning from the war, it seems the local chocolate factory is hiring. The apartment turns out to be rather dingy, and the job may be working the assembly line–a step down from Caroline’s office job as a secretary back in Minnesota. But Caroline is determined to make a great new life for herself and her son. As she goes about making that happen, she keeps running into a handsome stranger–at the diner, at church, and he even works for M.G. Chocolates. With a New Year, a new home, and a new job, is Caroline ready to find new love?
Comments: There are several Melody Carlson books that I like very much. However, my taste has changed some over time, and in this season of life, her romances are a bit too easy and cliche for my taste. On a whim, I might pick this book up at the library to read over a weekend, but I don’t think I will ever intentionally set out to read it.
#79. Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp
Synopsis: After traveling the globe and speaking to thousands of churches worldwide, Paul David Tripp has discovered a serious problem within pastoral culture. He is not only concerned about the spiritual life of the pastor, but also with the very community of people that trains him, calls him, relates to him, and restores him if necessary. Dangerous Calling reveals the truth that the culture surrounding our pastors is spiritually unhealthy–an environment that actively undermines the wellbeing and efficacy of our church leaders and thus the entire church body. Here is a book that both diagnoses and offers cures for issues that impact every member and church leader, and gives solid strategies for fighting the all-important war that rages in our churches today.
Comments: I received Dangerous Calling as a gift while doing an internship with the North American Mission Board. It may not be entirely relevant to me, but given that it was a gift, I can’t refuse to read it.
#80. Brooklyn Rose by Ann Rinaldi
Synopsis: It’s 1900, the dawn of a new century, and fifteen-year-old Rose Frampton is beginning a new life. She’s left her family in South Carolina to live with her handsome and wealthy husband in Brooklyn, New York — a move that is both scary and exciting. As mistress of the large Victorian estate on Dorchester Road, she must learn to make decisions, establish her independence, and run an efficient household. These tasks are difficult enough without the added complication of barely knowing her husband. As romance blossoms and Rose begins to find her place, she discovers that strength of character does not come easily but is essential for happiness.
Writing in diary form, Ann Rinaldi paints a sensual picture of time and place–and gives readers an intimate glimpse into the heart of a child as she becomes a woman.
Comments: As with Melody Carlson, I used to enjoy Ann Rinaldi’s books very much. There is definitely a time in my life when I would have enjoyed a book like this, but not anymore.
Ending number of books on TBR list: 686
I think this was my most brutal round yet – which is very good for my list! I hope it keeps creeping down; seeing it up close to 700 books is crazy!
I hope you have a good week, Readers.
Until the next chapter,