Tackling the TBR #20

background book stack books close up

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!

The last time I did a Tackling the TBR post was March 15. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 788 books. Today it has 830. I have gone through 220 books.

221. A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1) by Roseanna M. White

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England, #1)

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

My Comments: I really want to read the second book in this series, A Song Unheard, but I can’t bring myself to read it without reading this one first. This story honestly doesn’t sound too compelling, but I’ll eventually read it.

Decision: Keep

222. London in the Dark (Light of London #1) by Victoria Lynn

London In The Dark (Light of London #1)

Budding Private Detective Cyril Arlington Hartwell has a conundrum. London is being ravaged by the largest run of thefts in recent history. His hunch that it is all tied together may put him and those he loves in more danger than he could have reckoned.

Olivia Larken Hartwell is just home from boarding school for the summer anticipating time with her adoring parents. She misses her absent brother, Cyril, hoping for the day he will finally come home. But tragedy strikes, causing upheaval for all concerned, and changes her life in a way she never could have imagined.

Olivia, Cyril, and their friends must bring the hidden to light, seek to execute justice, and dispel the darkness that hovers over London… and their hearts.

My Comments: Victoria Lynn is an author who I highly respect (see my review for When Beauty Blooms), so even though this sounds a bit darker and more of a mystery than I usually read, I’m looking forward to it (eventually).

Decision: Keep

223. The Dressmaker’s Secret (The Chronicles of Alice & Ivy #1) by Kellyn Roth

The Dressmaker's Secret (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, #1)

After a revealing conversation with the first children of her age she’s ever met, curious eight-year-old Alice Chattoway realizes that one ought to have a father … and she doesn’t. Having determined that his absence is making her mother unhappy, Alice resolves to find him and create a family for herself.

However, Alice’s mother, Miss Chattoway, is reluctant to answer any questions posed about a man she’d much rather forget. While Alice investigates, Miss Chattoway tries to balance her own spiritual turmoil with her need to be both mother and provider to her daughters.

Will Alice ever unravel her mother’s secrets? Can Miss Chattoway let go of the past to reach for the future? 

My Comments: Kellyn is an author whose writing journey I love to follow. I’ve already read book 4 in this series (oops?) and enjoyed a handful of her other books. Eventually, I need to come back to the beginning!

Decision: Keep

224. In Perfect Time (Wings of a Nightingale #3) by Sarah Sundin

In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale, #3)

Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future? 

My Comments: Apparently this batch is heavy with authors I’m particularly fond of, and books which I am committed to reading “someday.” Here’s another one: Sundin is, of course, one of my absolute favorite authors, and I’ve already read the first two books in this trilogy.

Decision: Keep

225. The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

The Hope of Azure Springs

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Debut author Rachel Fordham invites historical romance readers to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where the people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.

My Comments: I actually don’t know this author! While the story doesn’t sound bad, with over 800 books currently on my to-read list, I think I can safely let this one go.

Decision: Remove

226. At the Foot of the Rainbow by Gene Stratton-Porter

At the Foot of the Rainbow

Set in Rainbow Bottom along the Wabash River, At the Foot of the Rainbow tells of the lives of a dissipated Irishman, Jimmy Malone, his long-suffering wife Mary, and Jimmy’s boyhood friend and lifelong companion, Dannie Macnoun.

My Comments: GSP is another of my favorite authors, so on the one hand, I want to read all of her books, but on the other, I’ve never seen this one in person and I’m not sure if it is realistic. I think I’ll pass on it for now; if it’s meant to be (read) it will find its way back.

Decision: Remove

227. A Daughter of the Land by Gene Stratton-Porter

A Daughter of the Land

Kate Bates lives in a man’s world. It her dream to own and run her own farm. To fulfill her dreams she must give up everything and start anew.

My Comments: Unlike the last book, I think my family has a copy of this book in a box somewhere, so I will definitely read it someday.

Decision: Keep

228. Her Father’s Daughter by Gene Stratton-Porter

Her Father's Daughter

Stratton-Porter was an American feminist, environmentalist, photographer and one of Indiana’s most famous female authors. Many of her writings were moralistic and romantic novels. The popular author seems to have gone awry with this particular novel, which tells the story of two orphaned sisters (who it later turns out are not really sisters). The introductory paragraphs set the tone: What makes you wear such funny shoes? Linda Strong thrust forward a foot and critically examined the narrow vamp, the projecting sole, the broad, low heel of her well-worn brown calfskin shoe. Then her glance lifted to the face of Donald Whiting, one of the most brilliant and popular seniors of the High School. Her eyes narrowed in a manner habitual to her when thinking intently. Never you mind my shoes, she said deliberately. Kindly fix your attention on my head piece. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.

My Comments: I don’t know off the top of my head whether we have a copy of this one, and I’m not really sure what to think about it. However, I don’t think I would ever turn down a GSP book if I came across it, so I don’t think I necessarily need to keep all of them on my list (especially when it is getting so long).

Decision: Remove

229. The Harvester by Gene Stratton-Porter

The Harvester

Gene Stratton-Porter returns us to her beloved Midwestern woodlands with a hero modeled after Henry David Thoreau. He and his “wonderful, alluring” Ruth ultimately find idyllic bliss in the pure, unspoiled woods, but not before her mysterious past is revealed and resolved.

My Comments: Ditto all of my comments about the last book, except that I do again think that we have a copy somewhere.

Decision: Keep

230. The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter

The Keeper of the Bees

Set in the author’s adopted home of California in the 1920s, this is Gene Stratton-Porter’s last novel, a story filled with wisdom, a love of nature, and her own abiding optimism. In it a Master Bee Keeper, his bees, and the natural beauty of California restore a wounded World War I veteran to health.

My Comments: This book I am entirely sure we own. As it is GSP’s last novel, it is particularly interesting to me.

Decision: Keep

Ending number of books on my TBR list: 827.

This week’s batch ended up being mostly authors who I am committed to reading, but books by them which I’m not as compelled to read as some others. Only a few removals from the list today, but lots of good books to discuss!

Are there any authors who you automatically say you want to read their books before you even know what they are about? How many books on currently on your to-read list?

Until the next chapter,


4 thoughts on “Tackling the TBR #20

Add yours

  1. That’s a lot of books to read. I have so many different lists dotted about I don’t actually know how many on the tbr queue I have. If they are not available at the library I don’t read them.

    Liked by 1 person

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