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 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 this type of post was July 12. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 820 books. Today it has 822. I have gone through 280 books.
#281. Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian by Jacob Sager Weinstein
Synopsis: When an evil genius has a diabolical plan to destroy every book on the planet, who has the tome-toting page power to thwart his dastardly scheme? Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian! She’s got the gadgets. She’s got the disguises. And she’s always got the right book at the right time. It’s a good thing, too, because Lyric McKerrigan is the world’s last hope!
Jacob Sager Weinstein and Vera Brosgol introduce a smart and crafty heroine who is part comic-book hero, part reader extraordinaire, and wholly awesome.
Comments: I don’t remember this book at all, but it sounds awesome (even if it is a picture book)!
#282. My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper D. Basham
Synopsis: Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?
Comments: This title in the My Heart Belongs series sounds more promising than the one I had on my list last week, but I still don’t think it is a good fit for me at the moment.
#283. Middlemarch by George Eliot
Synopsis: Taking place in the years leading up to the First Reform Bill of 1832, Middlemarch explores nearly every subject of concern to modern life: art, religion, science, politics, self, society, human relationships. Among her characters are some of the most remarkable portraits in English literature: Dorothea Brooke, the heroine, idealistic but naive; Rosamond Vincy, beautiful and egoistic: Edward Casaubon, the dry-as-dust scholar: Tertius Lydgate, the brilliant but morally-flawed physician: the passionate artist Will Ladislaw: and Fred Vincey and Mary Garth, childhood sweethearts whose charming courtship is one of the many humorous elements in the novel’s rich comic vein.
Comments: This is a classic that I can’t remove from my list, no matter how unlikely it is that I will read it in the near future.
#284. A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House #1) by Kristi Ann Hunter
Synopsis: Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, a duke–with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she’s heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother’s new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned.
When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men–one she’s never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.
Comments: A classic case of right book, wrong time. I’m sure there is a point when I would have enjoyed such a book, but that time has passed.
#285. There There by Tommy Orange
Synopsis: Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American–grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant and unflinching, utterly contemporary and truly unforgettable.
Comments: This book sounds important.
#286. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.
Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior. — Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence to document the journey with images. — Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head. — Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
Caden Bosch is torn.
Challenger Deep is a deeply powerful and personal novel from one of today’s most admired writers for teens.
Comments: I’ve heard so much about this book. It’s going to stay in my TBR a while longer.
#287. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Synopsis: For more than a century, The Wind in the Willows and its endearing protagonists–Mole, Mr. Toad, Badger, and Ratty–have enchanted children of all ages. Whether the four friends are setting forth on an exciting adventure, engaging in a comic caper, or simply relaxing by the River Thames, their stories are among the most charming in all English literature.
Comments: I’m actually not sure if I have read this book before or not. Someday I need to read it to make sure!
#288. Belle (Amish Fairy Tale #1) by Sarah Price
Synopsis: To most townsfolk, he’s known simply as The Beast. Annabelle Beiler has little interest in gossip, but she’s heard about Adam Herschberger’s scars and his gruff, solitary ways. Though he sounds like a character from one of Belle’s treasured books, the man is real and, it turns out, just as unreasonable as the rumors claim. When a buggy accident wipes out the last of her daed‘s money, forcing him to sell their farm, Adam buys it. Then he offers Belle a deal–marry him, and her family can keep their home.
Everyone is shocked by Belle’s decision, but she’s determined to be a good fraa, cleaning Adam’s rundown house and tending the overgrown garden. Breaking through her new husband’s icy reserve will be another matter. Belle’s courage and strength are abundant, but it will take true faith to guide Adam back to the heart of his Amish community–and to the loving marriage they both deserve.
Comments: I’m pretty sure I added this to my list solely because of the sunflowers on the cover. Aren’t they so bright and lovely? Unfortunately, the story inside does not hold the same appeal.
#289. For Such a Time by Kate Breslin
Synopsis: In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric’s secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz. Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric’s compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy. Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp’s prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?
Comments: Powerful-sounding book, but not one that I necessarily want to read.
#290. The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
Synopsis: It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.
Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can’t imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together.
Told through Nisha’s letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl’s search for home, for her own identity…and for a hopeful future.
Comments: Again, this sounds powerful, but it sounds more emotional than I want to read these days.
Ending number of books on TBR list: 815
Interesting batch, as usual! Do any of this week’s books jump out at you? Any you think I should reconsider my decision on?
Until the next chapter,