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!
The last time I did this type of post was May 16. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 856 books. Today it has 857. I have gone through 490 books.
#491. The Yellow Lantern (True Colors #3) by Angie Dicken
Synopsis: In Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she’s assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor’s next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck–Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission–posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure her replacement. At the mill though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Terrance. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.
Comments: What compelled me to add this book to my to-read list?? It doesn’t sound anything like what I enjoy reading, and it’s the third book in a series I have not started and only vaguely remember ever hearing about even.
#492. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
Synopsis: In 70 C.E., nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the horrifically brutal murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and an expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power.
The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets – about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.
Comments: The first three sentences of the synopsis had me hooked, but as I read the rest, I realized this is not a book I would expect to enjoy reading.
#493. The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
Synopsis: Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.
Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.
Comments: Not sure where this one came from, but it doesn’t sound like something I would particularly enjoy.
#494. Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke
Synopsis: Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father’s wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.
But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she’d feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don’t even speak English. There isn’t even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth’s heart is torn between two young men–both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.
Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she’s had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?
Comments: While not particularly deep, this book sounds fun. I’ve watched part of the When Calls the Heart series and mostly enjoyed it.
#495. Rift (Rift Walkers #1) by Elana Johnson
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Saige Phillips can’t help holding on to the hope that she’ll find Cherry, her twin who went missing five years ago. After all, Saige sees echoes of Cherry sitting in the window and skipping down the stairs. Then Price, a guy her age, shows up in the middle of her room, saying he’s from the future. He has the same blue film clinging to him that Saige has seen on Cherry, and she realizes that her twin went through the rift. As Saige searches for answers in her time, she’s met with secret after secret, all coming back to one source: her physicist mother. Price lives in the year 2073 and knows time shouldn’t be played with. What he doesn’t know is why the rift opened now or how he can stop it. The deeper Price digs, the harder the truth is to swallow. His father willfully violating the global time travel initiative is one thing, but stealing the rift site from Saige’s mother is quite another. And kidnapping—or worse—to cover everything up takes things too far. When the rift begins to show signs of overuse and instability, Price is desperate to close it before it explodes. Saige will do anything to keep it open long enough to find Cherry. In this dangerous game with time, someone is bound to lose.
Comments: I enjoyed this author’s books as a teen, but this is not a genre that I want to read these days.
#496. Postcards for a Songbird by Rebekah Crane
Synopsis: Everyone eventually leaves Wren Plumley. First it was her mother, then her best friend, and then her sister. Now living with only her cop father and her upended dreams, Wren feels stranded, like a songbird falling in a storm.
When Wilder, a sickly housebound teen, moves in next door, Wren finally finds what she’s always wanted—a person who can’t leave. But a chance meeting with Luca, the talkative, crush-worthy boy in her driver’s ed class, has Wren wondering if maybe she’s too quick to push people away. Soon, Wren finds herself caught between the safety of a friendship and a love worth fighting for.
Wren starts to dream again. But when postcards begin arriving from her sister, Wren must ultimately confront why her mother left fourteen years before and why her sister followed in her footsteps. For her new life to take flight, Wren will have to reconcile the heartbreaking beauty of lost dreams and the beautiful heartbreak of her new reality.
Comments: This book sounds lovely, just not for me.
#497. The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodsmall
Synopsis: Twenty-four-year-old Holly Zook lives a unique life for a young Amish woman. Years ago, her bishop allowed her to continue her education and become the lead technician for Greene’s Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore that looks out for the Amish community–a group largely without secure healthcare plans. She knows she can’t marry and hold onto her professional job. She’s Amish, and she can only have one or the other, so she spurns love and works toward addressing treatable diseases–like the one that claimed her father’s life.
As long as Holly continues to avoid Joshua Smucker, the one man who draws her like a warm hearth in winter, she should be fine. When something unexpected threatens Greene’s Pharmacy, Holly and Joshua must work together to unravel what’s happened and find the “missing” patient before the Board of Pharmacy shuts them down. As the snows of December arrive, with Christmas in the air, will Holly succumb to the generous spirit of the season?
Comments: I checked this out from the library two Christmases ago but did not end up reading it, so I added it to this list. I only ever think about it when I am specifically looking for Christmas books, so I don’t think it’s worth keeping it listed here.
#498. A Texas Kind of Christmas by Various Authors
Synopsis: Italicized, with cover image to the right.
Comments: I didn’t even need to hear the synopsis to know this would be a no-go.
#499. Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson
Synopsis: Nonny Frett understands the meaning of the phrase “in between a rock and a hard place” better than any woman alive. She’s got two mothers, “one deaf-blind and the other four baby steps from flat crazy.” She’s got two men: a husband who’s easing out the back door; and a best friend, who’s laying siege to her heart in her front yard. And she has two families: the Fretts, who stole her and raised her right; and the Crabtrees, who won’t forget how they were done wrong. Now, in Between, Georgia, a feud that began the night Nonny was born is escalating and threatening to expose family secrets.
Comments: Well that sounds crazy.
#500. All the Impossible Things by Lindsay Lackey
Synopsis: Red’s inexplicable power over the wind comes from her mother. Whenever Ruby “Red” Byrd is scared or angry, the wind picks up. And being placed in foster care, moving from family to family, tends to keep her skies stormy. Red knows she has to learn to control it, but can’t figure out how.
This time, the wind blows Red into the home of the Grooves, a quirky couple who run a petting zoo, complete with a dancing donkey and a giant tortoise. With their own curious gifts, Celine and Jackson Groove seem to fit like a puzzle piece into Red’s heart.
But just when Red starts to settle into her new life, a fresh storm rolls in, one she knows all too well: her mother. For so long, Red has longed to have her mom back in her life, and she’s quickly swept up in the vortex of her mother’s chaos. Now Red must discover the possible in the impossible if she wants to overcome her own tornadoes and find the family she needs.
Comments: I’m sure this book is a wonderful fit for someone else.
Ending number of books on TBR list: 848
Until the next chapter,
Good job! As I read about The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman I also thought it sounded good… and just like you, by the time I got to the end of the summary, NOPE! Too bad. A fictional story about the survivors of Masada sounds like an excellent premise for a novel.
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I’ve not heard of any of these.
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