Tackling the TBR #16

I didn’t realize when I drafted this post that it would go out on MLK Day. While I don’t have an entire worthy tribute in me, I do want to take a minute to acknowledge this day before moving on to the bulk of my post. In the midst of the current political chaos, it is comforting to read and remember the hopeful words of Dr. King. Perhaps someday we will get closer to his dream.

What's Open, What's Closed, What's Happening Martin Luther King Day 2018 in  Lexington | Ace Weekly

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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!filligree page divider

The last time I did this type of post was December 14, 2020, when I did a special Christmas edition. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 734 books. Today it has 751. I have gone through 180 books.

Pride and Prejudice#181.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Synopsis: Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr. Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr. Darcy, have moved into their neighborhood.

When Elizabeth Bennet meets Mr. Darcy she is repelled by his overbearing pride, and prejudice towards her family. But the Bennet girls are in need of financial security in the shape of husbands, so when Darcy’s friend, the affable Mr. Bingley, forms an attachment to Jane, Darcy becomes increasingly hard to avoid. Polite society will be turned upside down in this witty drama of friendship, rivalry, and love—Jane Austen’s classic romance novel.

Comments: I thought I had read this at some point, but perhaps I have not, since it is here on my list? I know the story well enough, but could use a refresher on the details of the book, rather than all of the various adaptations.

Decision: Keep

Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul#182. Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul by J.P. Moreland

Synopsis: We know that faith means “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, niv). Love Your God with All Your Mind explains the importance of using your mind not only to win others to Christ but also to experience personal spiritual growth. Author J. P. Moreland challenges you to use logic to further God’s kingdom through evangelism, apologetics, worship, and vocation. This revised edition includes expanded appendices and three new chapters that outline how to argue for the reality of God and the historicity of Jesus’ life teachings, death, and resurrection.

Comments: I think I added this after one of my philosophy professors mentioned it. It looks interesting, but I’ll hold off on reading it until I have more time and attention to devote to it.

Decision: Keep

An Introduction to Christian Worldview: Pursuing God's Perspective in a Pluralistic World#183.  An Introduction to Christian Worldview: Pursuing God’s Perspective in a Pluralistic World by Tawa J. Anderson, W. Michael Clark, & David K. Naugle

Synopsis: Everyone has a worldview. A worldview is the lens through which we interpret the cosmos and our lives in it. A worldview answers the big questions of life: What is our nature? What is our world? What is our problem? What is our End?

As Anderson, Clark, and Naugle point out, our worldview cannot simply be reduced to a series of rational beliefs. We are creatures of story, and the kinds of stories we tell reveal important things about our worldview.

Part of being a thoughtful Christian means being able to understand and express the Christian worldview as well as developing an awareness of the variety of worldviews. An Introduction to Christian Worldview takes you further into answering questions such as:
• Why do worldviews matter?
• What characterizes a Christian worldview?
• How can we analyze and describe a worldview?
• What are the most common secular and religious worldviews?

Comments: This book is by one of my favorite philosophy professors (Dr. Anderson). It was the main text for a class I couldn’t fit into my undergrad schedule, so ever since I have wanted to read it. It may not hold a realistic spot on my TBR list, but it will remain.

Decision: Keep

When Music Meets Faith: Reflecting on Musical Terms for a Deeper Faith#184.  When Music Meets Faith: Reflecting on Musical Terms for a Deeper Faith by Author

Synopsis: A devotional that reflects on musical terms and symbols to shed new light on the believer’s daily walk with Christ, When Music Meets Faith is relevant to both the musically trained and the musically uninitiated.

Comments: This is by another professor from OBU. I never studied under Dr. Lilite, but many of my friends did, and this book looks interesting! I have a feeling that finding a copy will be challenging, but I would still like to read it.

Decision: Keep

In Search of J.D. Salinger#185.  In Search of J.D. Salinger by Ian Hamilton

Synopsis: In trying to research the details of J.D. Salinger’s life for this book, Ian Hamilton forced the writer out of his reclusive hideaway to challenge his discoveries in an American court of law. When Ian Hamilton set out in 1983 to write a biography of Salinger, he knew that there would be difficulties. Just how great those difficulties would be, what implacable hostility he would meet from Salinger and what astonishing finds he would stumble on, he could not have guessed.

Comments: While I love Salinger’s complex short stories, I don’t like the tone of this book and I have no desire to read it.

Decision: Remove 

At Home in the World#186.  At Home in the World by Joyce Maynard

Synopsis: With what some have viewed as shocking honesty, Maynard explores her coming of age in an alcoholic family, her mother’s dream to mold her into a writer, her self-imposed exile from the world of her peers when she left Yale to live with Salinger, and her struggle to reclaim her self of sense in the crushing aftermath of his dismissal of her not long after her nineteenth birthday. A quarter of a century later–having become a writer, survived the end of her marriage and the deaths of her parents, and with an eighteen-year-old daughter of her own–Maynard pays a visit to the man who broke her heart. The story she tells–of the girl she was and the woman she became–is at once devastating, inspiring, and triumphant. 

Comments: Again, nope. Salinger’s stories are incredible, but the scandals around his life are not things that I want to read about.

Decision: Remove

Dream Catcher: A Memoir#187.  Dream Catcher: A Memoir by Margaret A. Salinger

Synopsis: In her much-anticipated memoir, Margaret A. Salinger writes about life with her famously reclusive father, J.D. Salinger — offering a rare look into the man and the myth, what it is like to be his daughter, and the effect of such a charismatic figure on the girls and women closest to him. With generosity and insight, Ms. Salinger has written a book that is eloquent, spellbinding, and wise, yet at the same time retains the intimacy of a novel. Her story chronicles an almost cultlike environment of extreme isolation and early neglect interwoven with times of laughter, joy, and dazzling beauty.
Ms. Salinger compassionately explores the complex dynamics of family relationships. Her story is one that seeks to come to terms with the dark parts of her life that, quite literally, nearly killed her, and to pass on a life-affirming heritage to her own child.
The story of being a Salinger is unique; the story of being a daughter is universal. This book appeals to anyone, J.D. Salinger fan or no, who has ever had to struggle to sort out who she really is from whom her parents dreamed she might be.

Comments: Obviously I went through a phase where I marked everything about Salinger as “want to read.” This one also gets a no from me.

Decision: Remove

The Rule of Mirrors (The Vault of Dreamers #2)#188.  The Rule of Mirrors (The Vault of Dreamers #2) by Caragh M. O’Brien

Synopsis: The entire country was watching when Rosie Sinclair was expelled from Forge, the prestigious arts school that doubles as a reality TV show. But few know how Dean Berg was mining students’ dreams in laboratories deep below the school. And no one, least of all the Dean himself, knows that when Rosie’s dreams were seeded into the mind of another patient, Rosie’s consciousness woke up in that body—a girl far from Forge, a girl with a completely different life from Rosie, a girl who is pregnant.

With the story told from alternating points of view between Rosie as she makes sense of her new identity and the shattered subconscious that still exists in her old body, readers will be on the edge of their seats and left hungry for more. 

Comments: The first book in this series was so confusing. I think I read it in early high school, and while I always meant to continue the series, I would first need the motivation to re-read The Vault of Dreamers to see if I can make any sense of what happened and where the story left off. I’m not ready to give up on this quite yet.

Decision: Keep

Mansfield Park#189.  Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Synopsis: Through Fanny Price, the heroine of Mansfield Park, Jane Austen views the social mores of her day and contemplates human nature itself. A shy and sweet-tempered girl adopted by wealthy relations, Fanny is an outsider looking in on an unfamiliar, and often inhospitable, world. But Fanny eventually wins the affection of her benefactors, endearing herself to the Bertram family and the reader alike.

Comments: Another classic that I will someday get around to reading.

Decision: Keep

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder#190.  Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser

Synopsis: Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls—the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true saga of her life has never been fully told. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser—the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series—masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder’s biography. Revealing the grown-up story behind the most influential childhood epic of pioneer life, she also chronicles Wilder’s tumultuous relationship with her journalist daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, setting the record straight regarding charges of ghostwriting that have swirled around the books.

Spanning nearly a century of epochal change, from the Indian Wars to the Dust Bowl, Wilder’s dramatic life provides a unique perspective on American history and our national mythology of self-reliance. With fresh insights and new discoveries, Prairie Fires reveals the complex woman whose classic stories grip us to this day.

Comments: It doesn’t feel like this book has been out long enough to be this far back on my TBR list! Alas, apparently it is. Of course I still mean to read this book sometime, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Decision: Keep

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Ending number of books on TBR list: 748

What’s high on your TBR list at the moment?

Until the next chapter,


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