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 June 18, 2022. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 848 books. Today it has 859. I have gone through 500 books.
#501. By the Book by Amanda Sellet
Synopsis: As a devotee of classic novels, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all about Mistakes That Have Been Made, especially by impressionable young women. So when a girl at her new high school nearly succumbs to the wiles of a notorious cad, Mary starts compiling the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a rundown of literary types to be avoided at all costs.
Unfortunately, Mary is better at dishing out advice than taking it—and the number one bad boy on her list is terribly debonair. As her best intentions go up in flames, Mary discovers life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction. If she wants a happy ending IRL, she’ll have to write it herself.
Comments: This sounds fun and cute!
#502. Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington
Synopsis: Breaking Busy marries popular secular research from the fields of social and positive psychology with solid biblical principles, instilling listeners with the confidence that they, too, can move from crazy busy to confident calm. With refreshing candor, uproarious true stories, and a Christian worldview, Alli delivers truths that dismantle common happiness myths. Then she empowers listeners to get unstuck, to let go of the good to make way for the great, to know themselves and their Creator, and ultimately to find peace and purpose in this world of crazy.
Comments: This book sounds interesting, but I don’t think it is one that I need at the moment.
#503. Benito Cereno by Herman Melville
Synopsis: On an island off the coast of Chile, Captain Amaso Delano, sailing an American sealer, sees the San Dominick, a Spanish slave ship, in obvious distress. Capt. Delano boards the San Dominick, providing needed supplies, and tries to learn from her aloof and disturbed captain, Benito Cereno, the story of how this ship came to be where she is.
Dealing with racism, the slave trade, madness, the tension between representation and reality, and featuring at least one unreliable narrator, Melville’s novella has both captivated and frustrated critics for decades.
Comments: Having read Moby Dick a few years ago as an undergrad, I have no desire to read anything else by Melville ever again.
#504. Family Reunion by Kelsey Bryant
Synopsis: Welcome to the Austin Family Reunion! 14-year-old Marielle Austin’s parents and grandparents are hosting family for a week in the Texas hill country, and Marielle’s five girl cousins are staying at her house. Emma and Caroline are her best friends – like her, they’re homeschooled and passionate about the Lord, the past, and books. Abby, Kailey, and Reanna are from Wisconsin and just as far away in background and interests – what’s hot in the world now is what matters to them.
Grandpa Will Austin has devised a series of projects for the six of them to complete. There’s a shed to fix up, a missionary to interview, and a trail of clues to solve, leading to a treasure. If they finish by the end of the week and work together with love and understanding, they’ll earn a prize beyond anything they could imagine! But difficulties surface right away. Bad attitudes and work ethics seem all Abby, Kailey, and Reanna can offer. Marielle, Emma, and Caroline are at a loss – what can they do to push the projects through? And more importantly, what can they do about their cousins, who won’t welcome their friendship? How can they show love when it’s hard even to feel it? Will the mysterious prize slip away, and with it any chance of relationship?
Comments: Bryant is an indie author whose work I have enjoyed reading in some of the A Very Bookish holiday anthologies, but I haven’t read any of her standalone books. I’m not sure where this one is available, but it does sound fun and lighthearted. It may not be realistic, but I’ll leave it on the TBR list for now.
#505. Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson
Synopsis: 1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish children who await deportation in a converted theater in Amsterdam. But amid their resistance work, Josie and Eliese’s dangerous secrets could derail their friendship and their entire mission. When the enemy finds these women, only one will escape.
Seventy-five years later, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather William Kingston was not the World War II hero he claimed to be. Her work as director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation leads her to Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, and Ava and Landon soon discover a connection between their families. As Landon’s great-grandmother shares the broken pieces of her story, Ava must confront the greatest loss in her own life―and powerful members of the Kingston family who will do anything to keep the truth buried.
Comments: This story sounds fascinating! A bit on the heavy side, but probably worthwhile.
#506. This Book is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson
Synopsis: In This Book is Overdue!, acclaimed author Marilyn Johnson celebrates libraries and librarians, and, as she did in her popular first book, The Dead Beat, discovers offbeat and eloquent characters in the quietest corners. In defiance of doomsayers, Johnson finds librarians more vital and necessary than ever, as they fuse the tools of the digital age with love for the written word and the enduring values of truth, service to all, and free speech. This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals who organize our messy world and offer old-fashioned human help through the maze.
Comments: As entrenched as I am in the LIS world, this book just doesn’t sound that interesting to me. I know plenty of interesting librarians, and it is a vital profession, but I don’t need (or want) to read a book trying to convince me of something I already know and live out at work each day.
#507. The 12th Candle by Kim Tomsic
Synopsis: Sage Sassafras’s life is cursed! No, really. Since birth, Sage has been plagued by the Contrarium Curse that’s set her at odds with classmate Priscilla Petty. Every time something goes right for Priscilla, it goes terribly, horribly wrong for Sage. And things always go well for Priscilla.
Sage blames the curse for all her middle school misery—from losing a friend to failing gym to gaining a reputation as the girl whose daddy’s in trouble. So when Sage is given a magical candle on her twelfth birthday, she seizes the chance to turn her luck around—with a wish to reverse the curse. But when the consequences of her wish take a terrible turn, Sage has to team up with her worst enemy—before she’s doomed to a life of opposites forever.
Comments: I have no idea where this book came from – I generally don’t enjoy books featuring magic, so it probably is not my cup of tea. The cover is fun though.
#508. Being and Time by Martin Heidegger
Synopsis: One of the most important philosophical works of our time, a work that has had tremendous influence on philosophy, literature, and psychology, and has literally changed the intellectual map of the modern world.
Comments: This is a philosophical classic that I would like to read and engage with at some point. Who knows when I will be in the right mood for it, but hopefully the time will come eventually.
#509. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Synopsis: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown’s eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. A national bestseller in hardcover for more than a year after its initial publication, it has sold almost four million copies and has been translated into seventeen languages. For this elegant thirtieth-anniversary edition—published in both hardcover and paperback—Brown has contributed an incisive new preface.
Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows the great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them demoralized and defeated. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee changed forever our vision of how the West was really won.
Comments: A heavier nonfiction classic that I ought to read at some point.
#510. The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester
Synopsis: 1940. Parisian seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee France as the Germans advance. She is bound for Manhattan with a few francs, one suitcase, her sewing machine, and a dream: to have her own atelier.
2015. Australian curator Fabienne Bissette journeys to the annual Met Gala for an exhibition of her beloved grandmother’s work – one of the world’s leading designers of ready-to-wear. But as Fabienne learns more about her grandmother’s past, she uncovers a story of tragedy, heartbreak and secrets – and the sacrifices made for love.
Crossing generations, society’s boundaries and international turmoil, The Paris Seamstress is the beguiling, transporting story of the special relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter as they attempt to heal the heartache of the past.
Comments: I’m intrigued!
Ending number of books on TBR list: 855
Well, I didn’t knock as many off the list this time as I did the last, but I’m happy with the progress. I would love to hear your comments on any of the books discussed today!
Until the next chapter,