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 this type of post was October 18, 2021. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 845 books. Today it has 877. I have gone through 350 books.
#351. Almost Home by Fraser Luesse
Synopsis: With America’s entrance into the Second World War, the town of Blackberry Springs, Alabama, has exploded virtually overnight. Workers from all over are coming south for jobs in Uncle Sam’s munitions plants–and they’re bringing their pasts with them, right into Dolly Chandler’s grand but fading family home turned boardinghouse.
An estranged young couple from the Midwest, unemployed professors from Chicago, a widower from Mississippi, a shattered young veteran struggling to heal from the war–they’re all hoping Dolly’s house will help them find their way back to the lives they left behind. But the house has a past of its own.
When tragedy strikes, Dolly’s only hope will be the circle of friends under her roof and their ability to discover the truth about what happened to a young bride who lived there a century before.
Comments: I often enjoy books set in the 1940s American home front, but I am not eager to learn about the tragedy alluded to in this synopsis.
#352. A Love to Behold by Sharlene MacLaren
Synopsis: Two years after the Civil War, Lydia Albright, 27, is an established teacher in Boston when she senses God’s call to leave the comfort and security of her job and go south. She accepts a position to teach in a school for former slaves in Charleston, South Carolina. A church there that’s affiliated with the American Missionary Association offers support, along with room and board at the parsonage.
The Ku Klux men are hell-bent on seeing that the new school fails. Lydia’s life is threatened, and the parsonage, church, and school are vandalized. But they haven’t contended with a strong, determined woman like Lydia before. It also helps that she has a couple potential suitors on her side.
#353. Sherwood by Megan Spooner
Synopsis: Robin of Locksley is dead.
Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on, but the people of Locksley town, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, need a protector. And the dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley and Marian’s fiancé. Who is there to stop them?
Marian never meant to tread in Robin’s footsteps—never intended to stand as a beacon of hope to those awaiting his triumphant return. But with a sweep of his green cloak and the flash of her sword, Marian makes the choice to become her own hero: Robin Hood.
Comments: I don’t usually enjoy retellings, myths, or the like. I remember hearing great things about Sherwood, but not enough to make me think I would really enjoy it much.
#354. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Synopsis: A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
Brimming with humour, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavour to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
Comments: This was popular a few years ago, when it was first published, but I don’t think it would be my cup of tea.
#355. Fated (Slated #0) by Teri Terry
Synopsis: Sam’s cosy life as daughter of the Deputy Prime Minister is about to end. These are turbulent times. Borders have closed and protests are turning violent. The government blames the country’s youth, and is cracking down hard. Mobile phones are blocked, gatherings are banned and dissent is brutally crushed.
Sam is torn between family loyalty and doing what is right. when she meets Ava and Lucas her mind is made up.
One girl, one choice. She can make a difference: she must. Even if her life – and her heart – are on the line…
Comments: I loved the Slated series in high school, but my library never got this prequel when it came out. Apparently I was just about the only person in the area who checked out the books. I don’t remember all the details of the series now, but I would like to finish it some day.
#356. Crossroads by Paul Willis
Synopsis: Lethal persecution. Haunting decisions. Death just a whisper away.
Jack grew up concealing his faith, but now the persecution of Christians has turned lethal. After inadvertently putting his family in danger, Jack becomes aware of a covert agency dedicated to protecting Christians. The agency takes his mother and sister to safety and offers him a position as an emergency medic within their ranks.
Caring for the injured allows Jack to help their cause without violating his pacifistic beliefs, but he stands at odds with tough resistance fighter Britain. Grueling firefights, severe losses, and desperate choices test their beliefs as each of them seeks to save lives no matter the cost. But what is that cost?
Comments: I had completely forgotten about this book, but I’m still intrigued by the Christian take on dystopia and science fiction. It sounds a bit rougher than what I prefer to read (“firefights, severe losses, and desperate choices” does not sound like my idea of fun), but it might be worth it. I’ll let it hang out on my TBR for a while longer.
#357. Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot
Synopsis: Peace and quiet–to many of us they’re just words. Somehow we have allowed the frenetic pace of life to rob us of the quiet, restful moments with God we so desperately need. Keep a Quiet Heart features the rich devotional musings of one of America’s favorite authors and points the way to a deep experience with God, away from the unsettling distractions of day-to-day living.
Comments: This is a sort-of classic that I hope to read someday.
#358. Tomorrow’s First Light (Texas Promise #1) by Naomi Rawlings
Synopsis: Nervous about meeting her fiancé for the first time, Ellie Spritzer’s lifelong hope of finding love is about to end—or rather, begin. She never imagined her quest for love would take her to the other side of the country with all eight of her siblings in tow, but after her mother dies unexpectedly, what choice does she have? At least the man she’s been writing for the past year is still willing to marry her and take in her siblings… or so she thinks until she arrives in the dusty town of Twin Rivers, Texas.
Growing up an orphan, Sam Owens never had a place to call home or a family to love. So if his wife-to-be needs to bring three of her siblings with her, he has no complaints about having a ready-made family. But his mail-order-bride doesn’t arrive with three. She arrives with eight.
Sam can’t make himself turn away children in need. But as a beginning rancher, he doesn’t have the resources to care for so many people. When sinister forces threaten the things Sam and Ellie both hold dear, can they figure out how to keep their fledgling family together, or will they lose the very things they cherish most?
Comments: Mail order bride books are a “no” for me.
#359. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Synopsis: Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age 13 she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate—a life and a role that she has never challenged … until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.
Comments: I definitely only added this to my TBR because it was so popular for a while.
#360. Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Author
Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.
At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.
Comments: I’ll read just about anything about or by C.S. Lewis.
Ending number of books on TBR list: 871
Another ten books down! Well, another ten books considered, at least. Have you read any of this batch?
Until the next chapter,