Tackling the TBR 22.1

It has become apparent that 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!

As I’ve mentioned in a few other recent posts, I’m changing my numbering system for repeated posts this year. Based on the old numbering system, this would be “Tackling the TBR #34.” However, instead of counting up indefinitely each time I post, now I am going to count by how many times in the specific year I have done the post, making this #22.1 – the first instance of a Tackling the TBR post in 2022.

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The last time I did this type of post was December 13, 2021. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 889 books. Today it has 902 – not the direction I ought to be going, but it could be worse. I have gone through 370 books.

90 Days to Your Novel: A Day-By-Day Plan for Outlining & Writing Your Book#371.  The 90 Day Novel by Sarah Domet

Synopsis: Many famous authors write their novels in a matter of weeks. William Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying in six weeks. Joyce Carol Oates often cranks out two or three books a year. Stephen King believes first drafts should take no more than three months to complete. So, what’s the trick? Novel writing isn’t about inspiration. It’s about the time, energy, and discipline to see the project to its finish.

With 90 Days To Your Novel at your side, now is the time. This inspiring guide will be your push, your deadline, and your spark to finally, without excuses, and in three short months, nail that first draft of your novel.

Comments: As I am not currently working on a novel and do not plan to be anytime soon, this book no longer belongs on my to-read list.

Decision: Remove

When Dimple Met Rishi#372.  When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Synopsis: Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Comments: I can see why I wanted to read this in the past, and there are no red flags implying that I wouldn’t enjoy this book, but it just doesn’t feel like my cup of tea anymore.

Decision: Remove

The Bone Charmer (The Bone Charmer, #1)#373. The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields

Synopsis: In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning―a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds―Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram―a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences―Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.

Comments: I don’t know why I added this book to my list.

Decision: Remove

Strays Like Us#374. Strays Like Us by Cecilia Galante

Synopsis: From the moment Fred (never Winifred!) spots a scruffy little mutt with sad eyes, she knows she’s in big trouble. Toby’s in bad shape, and Fred longs to rescue him from the old man with the mile-long mean streak who lives next door. But Margery—the straight-talking woman who is fostering Fred—says going over to their house is against the rules.

And since Fred will only be around until her mother comes to grips with her dependence, Fred can’t let herself care too deeply. Not about Toby or Margery or Delia, a new classmate whose insistent friendship surprises Fred at every turn. Because the more Fred lets this loveable band of misfits into her heart, the harder it’ll be to leave them all behind.

Comments: I remember adding this book to my list and thinking how rare it is to find a book with a protagonist in foster care that doesn’t sound completely bleak. I’m sure it’s a wonderful book, but I don’t see myself getting to it in a reasonable amount of time.

Decision: Remove

The Square Root of Summer#375.  The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Synopsis: Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she’s hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone’s heart is about to be broken.

With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

Comments: The time travel aspect definitely elevates this premise, but it sounds too angsty for me.

Decision: Remove

Milkman#376. Milkman by Anna Burns

Synopsis: In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.

Comments: I’m tempted to keep this on my to-read shelf for its beautiful cover alone. The story sounds reminiscent of Brave New World and 1984, and I’m intrigued, so it’s staying anyways.

Decision: Keep

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II#377. A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell

Synopsis: Virginia Hall was one of the greatest spies in American history, yet her story remains untold. Just as she did in Clementine, Sonia Purnell uncovers the captivating story of a powerful, influential, yet shockingly overlooked heroine of the Second World War. At a time when sending female secret agents into enemy territory was still strictly forbidden, Virginia Hall came to be known as the “Madonna of the Resistance,” coordinating a network of spies to blow up bridges, report on German troop movements, arrange equipment drops for Resistance agents, and recruit and train guerilla fighters. Even as her face covered WANTED posters throughout Europe, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped with her life in a grueling hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown, and her associates all imprisoned or executed. But, adamant that she had “more lives to save,” she dove back in as soon as she could, organizing forces to sabotage enemy lines and back up Allied forces landing on Normandy beaches. Told with Purnell’s signature insight and novelistic flare, A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman’s fierce persistence helped win the war.

Comments: This one sounds fascinating.

Decision: Keep

Wonderland Creek#378. Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Synopsis: Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But the happily-ever-after life she’s planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real one. To top it off, Alice loses her beloved library job because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.

Longing to run from small-town gossip, Alice flees to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the tiny coal-mining town of Acorn, a place with no running water, no electricity, and where the librarians ride ornery horses up steep mountain passes to deliver books. When Alice is forced to stay in Acorn far longer than she planned, she discovers that real-life adventure, mystery–and especially romance–may be far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.

Comments: I would love to read more stories about the Great Depression-era horseback librarians!

Decision: Keep

Preparing for Easter: Fifty Devotional Readings from C. S. Lewis#379. Preparing for Easter by C.S. Lewis

Synopsis: Together in one special volume, selections from the best of beloved bestselling author C. S. Lewis’s classic works for readers contemplating the “grand miracle” of Jesus’s resurrection.

Preparing for Easter is a concise, handy companion for the faithful of all Christian traditions and the curious to help them deepen their knowledge and consideration of this holy season—a time of reflection as we consider Jesus’s sacrifice and his joyous rise from the dead.

Carefully curated, each selection in Preparing for Easter draws on a major theme in Lewis’s writings on the Christian life, as well as others that consider why we can have confident faith in what happened on the cross.

Comments: Eventually, I hope to read all of Lewis’ books. Even though this is technically a compilation of his writings instead of a book he directly wrote, it still sounds like something I want to read.

Decision: Keep

Bookishly Ever After (Book Nerds and Boyfriends Collection #1)#380. Bookishly Ever After by Sarah Monzon

Synopsis: Emory Blake is the ultimate bibliophile. She’d take curling up with a good novel over a night on the town any day of the week. But then best friend Tate Woodby accuses her of living between the pages of her paperbacks instead of the real world, and make a bet that will force her to experience the adventures of her fictional friends…instead of just reading about them. With her face no longer buried in books, Emory must confront the pain of the past. But is it also her perfect opportunity to discover the hunky hero who could be the happily-ever-after of her own story?

Comments: The beginning of this synopsis sounds an awful lot like Wonderland Creek. The rest, however, does not sound similar. The romance sounds like too much for me to enjoy.

Decision: Remove

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Ending number of books on TBR list: 896

I would love to hear your thoughts on these books in the comments!

Until the next chapter,

Jana

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