Tackling the TBR #24: A Batch of Sweet Summery Stories?

Happy Monday! My TBR list really is unreasonably long, even with doing these posts occasionally. I’m going to try doing this once a week instead of every other week in an effort to curb its growth. It really is a good problem to have, and I don’t mind terribly, I just don’t like books lingering here which I realistically will never read or have changed my mind about. While I won’t live or die by my TBR list, I do want it to be reasonably reflective of what I want and intend to read and of my bookish interests. Failing to remove books which I no longer want to read defeats that purpose. So, here I go through another 10 books on my TBR list!

The last time I did this type of post was June 14th. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 842 books. Today it has 855 (apparently). I have gone through 260 books.

Dear Mrs. Bird

#261. Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce

Synopsis: London 1940: bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

Comments: This book found its way to my TBR list initially because of the cover – the typewriter keys caught my eye and went straight to my heart. I’m not entirely sure I would like the story, but I’m not hesitant enough to take it off of my list. I’ll probably give it a shot someday.

Decision: Keep

The Lady of the Vineyard  (Kees & Colliers, #2)

#262.  The Lady of the Vineyard (Kees & Colliers #2) by Kellyn Roth

Synopsis Is it too late for Adele to return to her daughter’s life?

When her ex-husband reappears in her life determined to spend more time with their child, Adele Collier allows him to take Judy to France for the summer. As the summer goes by, an internal battle rages in Adele’s heart. Can she give up her glamorous lifestyle to win her daughter’s heart?

Six-year-old Judy is more than happy to trade Adele’s neglect for her father’s adoring care. She loves his vineyard and wishes she could stay there forever, but someday she must return to England. Can Judy trust her mother again?

Comments: The fact that I’ve followed this author’s blog for a few years is the biggest factor in this book remaining on my TBR. What little I’ve read of the series is decent, but I’m not a fan of reading about divorced characters, so I usually skip books that mention it in the synopsis.

Decision: Keep

Cake Pop Crush (Wish, #1)

#263.  Cake Pop Crush (Wish #1) by Suzanne Nelson

Synopsis: Alicia’s dad has run ‘Say It With Flour’, a small bakery with a loyal following, for years. They have to find ways to bring in new customers, especial after Perk Up, a big chain coffee and pastry shop, opens across the street. To make a bad matter worse, Dane, the cute new boy at school is the son of Perk Up’s CEO. She should hate him…but he’s really sort of sweet. How’s a girl supposed to deal? Ali begins to create incredible cake pops using her deceased mom’s cookbook. 

Comments: This sounds like an adorable YA version of a Hallmark movie, and it seems to be fairly popular at my library. I’ll keep it around for now.

Decision: Keep

The Sound of Diamonds (Steadfast Love, #1)

#264.  The Sound of Diamonds (Steadfast Love #1) by Rachelle Rea Cobb

Synopsis: In Reformation-era England, a converted rogue wants to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk Godfrey knows he has only one chance at redemption.

An independent Catholic maiden seeking refuge in the Low Countries finds herself at the center of the Iconoclastic Fury. Jaded by tragedy, Gwyneth’s only hope of getting home is to trust the man she hates, and she soon discovers her poor vision is not the only thing that has been blinding her. But the home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, will the saint and the sinner hold to hope…or be overcome?

Comments: This is such an under-used setting! I would love to read a fictional book dealing with the Reformation, but the plot of this one just doesn’t appeal to me.

Decision: Remove

Emmeline (Vintage Jane Austen)

#265. Emmeline (Vintage Jane Austen #1) by Sarah Holman

Synopsis: What if Jane Austen’s Emma lived in America in the year 1930?

The talk of stock market crashes and depression isn’t going to keep Emmeline Wellington down. Born to wealth and privilege, Emmeline wants nothing more than to help her new friend, Catarina, find a husband. Emmeline sets her sights on one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, but nothing seems to go right. Even her friend and neighbor Fredrick Knight seems to question her at every turn.

Will she help Catarina find the man of her dreams? Why is her father acting so strangely? Will the downturn affect her life, despite her best efforts?

Comments: I think I actually own this title as an audiobook, but I’ve yet to listen to it. Audible is incredibly inconvenient for me to use these days. Anyways, eventually I will read/listen to this book.

Decision: Keep

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe

#266.  The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie

Synopsis: Who do you become when you have nothing left to lose?

There is something Poe Blythe, the seventeen-year-old captain of the Outpost’s last mining ship, wants far more than the gold they tear from the Serpentine River. Revenge. Poe has vowed to annihilate the river raiders who robbed her of everything two years ago. But as she navigates the treacherous waters of the Serpentine and realizes there might be a traitor among her crew, she must also reckon with who she has become, who she wants to be, and the ways love can change and shape you. Even – and especially – when you think all is lost.

Comments: I don’t do stories on boats and I rarely do fantasy (which this sounds like it comes close to being), but I love Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy so much that I put this on my to-read list anyways. It’s time to admit I’m not going to read this one, despite the author’s reputation.

Decision: Remove

This Place Called Home

#267.  This Place Called Home by Amanda Leite

Synopsis: When you get to Heaven will you be rejoicing or missing the life you had on Earth? While no one can tell what will happen when we get to Heaven, This Place Called Home is a short story that will bring comfort to those who fear the unknown.

Comments: I have no idea how I stumbled across this little book. There isn’t much information about it unfortunately – not enough to keep it hanging (virtually) around.

Decision: Remove

Coral

#268.  Coral by Sara Ella

Synopsis: Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease, said to be carried by humans—emotions. Can she face the darkness long enough to surface in the light?

Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at Fathoms—a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed?

Merrick may be San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more than to escape his controlling father. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, everything will be made right again—right?

When their worlds collide, all three will do whatever it takes to survive, and Coral might even catch a prince in the process. But what—and who—must they leave behind for life to finally begin? Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved—yet tragic—fairy tale, Coral explores mental health from multiple perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.

Comments: I have seen many, many raving reviews of Coral. Everyone I know who has read it really enjoyed it. I don’t think the story is one I would enjoy though, and the acclaim isn’t enough to override that for me.

Decision: Remove

Even in the Grey

#269.  Even in the Gray by Laura Guernot

Synopsis: Daniel Rogers, a young American soldier, harbors bitterness against the man who ruined his life. Memories torment him, and he can’t seem to forget the past. How can a horrible train accident, a pretty French artist, an unplanned reunion, and a pocketful of crayons help him see through his dark world and into the light of forgiveness?

Comments: The author of this book is such a sweet blogger. Stories about soldiers are another subgenre that I typically avoid though, and I don’t think I would ever actually get to reading this book.

Decision: Remove

Don't Date Rosa Santos

#270.  Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Synopsis: Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea – at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat. But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about. As her college decision looms, Rosa collides – literally – with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

Comments: I must’ve gone through a phase where I thought I wanted to read books about the ocean or boats. This one sounds really good, though. I think I’ll let it stay on my list for now.

Decision: Keep

Ending number of books on my TBR list: 850

What do you think, Reader? Do you enjoy reading books set on boats or dealing with the sea? Is my Midwestern-ness showing through in my distaste for this setting? If you’ve read any of these books, I would love to hear your thoughts on them, regardless of whether I decided to keep them on my list or not.

Until the next chapter,

Jana

4 thoughts on “Tackling the TBR #24: A Batch of Sweet Summery Stories?

Add yours

    1. Oh that’s good to hear about Dear Mrs. Bird! And, good point about Agatha Christie’s books; now that I think about it, some of Sarah Sundin’s books are set on ships, and I have liked everything of hers that I read. There are probably some authors that are just better at writing in certain settings than others, or at making them appealing to certain readers.

      Liked by 1 person

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