Tackling the TBR #29

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!reviews-from-the-stacks-headers

The last time I did this type of post was August 23, 2021. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 807 books. Today it has 812. I have gone through 310 books.

Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything#321.  Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything by Steve DeWitt

Synopsis: We all enjoy so many things in this world. Eyes Wide Open will help you understand God’s purposes for our joy and wonder.

If you love the outdoors, art, food, sports, sunsets, coffee, mountains, or anything else, Eyes Wide Open enriches these experiences by turning them toward their created purpose. This is a book about our beautiful God who designed our craving for beauty to lead us back to Him.

Comments: Sounds overly basic, honestly.

Decision: Remove

Annie's Life In Lists#322.  Annie’s Life in Lists by Kristin Mahoney

Synopsis: For Annie, lists are how she keeps her whole life in order. And there is a lot to keep track of! Annie’s a shy fifth grader with an incredible memory and a love of making lists. It helps her keep track of things when they can seem a little out of control, like her family, her friends, and her life in a new place.

Annie has:
1. An incredible memory (really, it’s almost photographic) that can get her in trouble
2. A desire to overcome her shyness
3. A brother who is mad at her because he thinks she is the reason they had to move to Clover Gap, population 8,432.
4. A best friend who she is (almost) certain will always be her best friend.
5. New classmates, some of whom are nicer than others.
6. A rocky start finding her place in her new home.


Annie’s Life in Lists introduces a sweet new voice that finds that even amid the chaos of everyday life, it’s important to put things in order.

Comments: This is a middle-grade novel I’ve been meaning to read for a few years. Maybe now that I’m taking a children’s literature class, this will be the semester I get to it.

Decision: Keep

A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor, #1)#323.  A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor #1) by Kristi Ann Hunter

Synopsis: When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and to raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. But as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, the risk of revealing the truth may come at too high a price for those she loves.

Comments: This sounds awfully melodramatic. I think I’ll pass.

Decision: Remove

Sense and Sensibility#324.  Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

Synopsis: Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

Comments: Eventually I do want to read this classic.

Decision: Keep

Reintegration (Reintegration #1)#325.  Reintegration by Ashley Bogner

Synopsis: A perfect citizen. A captured rebel. One decision could destroy them both…

As a Regulator, seventeen-year-old Katherine Holliday’s duty is to protect the people of the Federation from a group of violent rebels who have exiled themselves to the mysterious wilderness. When one of these rebels is captured within the Federation, the government leaders propose an alternative to execution, a procedure they call Reintegration. The procedure involves erasing the rebel’s memory and attempting to make him a member of society. The rebel, a young man named Matthew, is not the violent criminal Katherine expects, and she can’t help but befriend him. A few weeks after Matthew’s Reintegration, Katherine realizes the procedure failed and she is now presented with a choice no one else can help her make. Can she warn her superiors that Reintegration failed, which could mean death for Matthew? Or will she defy everything she knows to help him escape—and risk her own execution?

Comments: A few years ago this may have been interesting, but now it just sounds like one cliche after another and not the kind of tropes I want to read these days.

Decision: Remove

Minutes of Glory and Other Stories#326.  Minutes of Glory and Other Stories by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Synopsis: Covering the period of British colonial rule and resistance in Kenya to the bittersweet experience of independence—and including two stories that have never before been published in the United States—Ngũgĩ’s characters include women fighting for their space in a patriarchal society, big men in their Bentleys and Mercedes who have inherited power from the British; and rebels who still embody the fighting spirit of the downtrodden. One of Ngũgĩ’s most beloved stories, “Minutes of Glory,” tells of Beatrice, a sad, but ambitious waitress who fantasizes about being feted and lauded over by the middle class clientele in the city’s beer halls. Her dream leads her on a witty and heartbreaking adventure.

Comments: It could be interesting to read these stories about people in a very different society than my own, and this author is highly renowned.

Decision: Keep

The Gem Thief#327.  The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey

Synopsis: Gracie Miller is a small-town girl who has landed her dream job in New York City. As jewelry designer for one of the most prestigious jewelers in the world, she completed a particularly stunning piece, a custom setting for a large pink diamond. But when her billionaire client Mrs. Katsaros comes to repair a minor issue with the setting, Gracie is horrified to realize it is not the ring she created. Someone has forged her design, and the priceless diamond is gone.

Mrs. Katsaros has no desire to bring media attention to the jewelry heist, so she recruits her nephew, Quinn, and his FBI agent friend, Steve, to do some sleuthing off the record. When they discover that the missing ring is just one of many forgeries in the widow’s collection, they look to Gracie for help. They need her to act the part of Quinn’s fiancée. From the lights of New York to the shimmering islands of the Mediterranean, Gracie is swept into a thrilling hunt. But amid the search for the elusive thief, she and Quinn find themselves increasingly distracted by their growing feelings for each other. What neither realizes is how close the danger lies and how serious the vendetta is—because, apparently, it is worth killing for.

Comments: If this were a movie I might spend 2 hours watching it, but as a book that I would spend days or weeks invested in, it’s not compelling enough for me to pick up.

Decision: Remove

The Bookshop#328.  The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

Synopsis: In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop – the only bookshop – in the seaside town of Hardborough. By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town’s less prosperous shopkeepers. By daring to enlarge her neighbors’ lives, she crosses Mrs. Gamart, the local arts doyenne. Florence’s warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted. Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth: a town that lacks a bookshop isn’t always a town that wants one.

Comments: This book sounds sad, and just not my cup of tea these days.

Decision: Remove

Cimarron: Vintage Movie Classics#329.  Cimarron by Edna Ferber

Synopsis: This vivid and sweeping tale of the Oklahoma Land Rush, from Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Ferber, traces the stunning challenges of settling an untamed frontier. Staking claim to their new home in Osage, Yancey Cravat, a spellbinding criminal lawyer, and his wife, well-bred Sabra, work against seemingly overwhelming odds to create a prosperous life for themselves. And as they establish themselves in this lawless land, Sabra displays a brilliant business sense and makes a success of their local newspaper, the Oklahoma Wigwam, all amidst border and land disputes, outlaws, and the discovery of oil.

Originally published in 1929, and twice made into a motion picture, Cimarron brings history alive, capturing the settling of the American West in vivid detail.

Comments: My grandmother recommended this book, and I’ve enjoyed others by this author, so it is one I would like to read eventually. Unfortunately, it’s kind of difficult to find a copy.

Decision: Keep

The Similars (The Similars, #1)#330.  The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

Synopsis: The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA replica and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into their clique, uncovering dark truths about the clones and her prestigious school along the way. But no one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for who has Oliver’s face.

Comments: Why did I add this to my TBR list?

Decision: Remove

reviews-from-the-stacks-headers

Ending number of books on TBR list: 806. Inching in the right direction!

Any thoughts on the books in today’s list? Have you read any of them?

Until the next chapter,

Jana

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