My TBR (to be read) list has gotten nearly out of hand. Therefore, I do a post featuring ten books from it approximately once per week. As I go through the list, I evaluate each book and decide whether or not it still belongs. 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 August 15, 2022. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 842 books. Today it has 848. I have gone through 540 books.
#541. Circe by Madeline Miller
Synopsis: In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–neither powerful like her father nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power: the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts, and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
Comments: This book is wildly popular, so I’m not surprised to see it show up on my list even though I don’t specifically remember adding it. It’s definitely not my type though.
#542. Elegant Pie: Transform Your Favorite Pies into Works of Art by Karin Pfeiff-Boschek
Synopsis: Everyone knows that serving a pie for dessert makes guests happy. And serving one with a beautifully designed crust that makes guests swoon is even better. Pies are easy to make as stunningly attractive as the most decorative cakes using some basic techniques and the appropriate care when working with pie dough.
The recipes and techniques presented in this book give any home baker the tools they need to create breathtaking works of pie art. From preparation of the dough to the last moments of baking, all methods are clearly presented using step-by-step photographs. The 25 designs, arranged by three levels of difficulty, range from graphic art styles to seasonal-inspired florals.
Comments: While I would love to learn about skillful pie decorating, I don’t think there is a need to keep this specific book on my TBR list. I will probably turn to Pinterest or Betty Crocker when the time comes that I want to tackle this.
#543. The Bake Shop by Amy Clipston
Synopsis: Cakes, pies, and a tender romance await you in The Bake Shop.
Christiana Kurtz loves to bake, but when her bake stand becomes too busy, her mother encourages her to move her business to the local market. Her new bake shop is an instant success, but it becomes so inundated with customers that the line blocks the leather and woodcraft shop next door. The shop’s owner, Jeff Stoltzfus, catches Christiana’s attention at first glance with his dark brown eyes and sad expression, and she longs to know more about him.
After a series of mishaps and Jeff’s complaints that her stand is driving away his business due to the lines, their relationship begins rockily. Drawn to each other despite themselves, Jeff and Christiana forge a friendship that begins to deepen, and Jeff slowly begins to trust her with the painful secrets of his past.
When Christiana’s father makes a surprise visit to the market, he is upset to find that Jeff uses the building’s electricity to personalize his items. He tells Christiana that Jeff is too modern for her, and she’s forbidden from dating him. Christiana is crushed, but she knows she must obey her father. When Jeff’s shop catches fire one day, he puts the entire market in jeopardy—including Christiana’s bake shop, but she can’t deny how she feels about him despite his mistakes. Though the odds are against them, can the two young people find a way to rebuild both their businesses and their relationship?
Comments: Even though this is marketed as Amish and clean, it sounds too heavy on the emotional side of the romance genre for me.
#544. Home Front Girls by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan
Synopsis: It’s January 1943 when Rita Vincenzo receives her first letter from Glory Whitehall. Glory is an effervescent young mother from New England, impulsive and free as a bird. Rita is a Midwestern professor’s wife with a love of gardening and a generous, old soul. These two women have nothing in common except one powerful bond: the men they love are fighting in a war a world away from home.
Brought together by an unlikely twist of fate, Glory and Rita begin a remarkable correspondence. The friendship forged by their letters allows them to survive the loneliness and uncertainty of waiting on the home front, and gives them the courage to face the battles raging in their very own backyards. Connected across the country by the lifeline of the written word, each woman finds her life profoundly altered by the other’s unwavering support.
Comments: Growing up, almost every girl around me read the American Girls books, and we all had our favorite characters and timelines. My favorite was Molly, whose stories were set in Illinois in 1944. The synopsis and cover of this book remind me so much of those books. If it’s anything like a grown-up version, then I definitely want to read it.
#545. For Love and Country by Candace Waters
Synopsis: When Lottie Palmer runs away the day before her wedding to join the Navy WAVES program, she not only leaves behind a fiancé, but also the privileged lifestyle that she has known as the daughter of one of the most important manufacturers in Detroit’s auto industry. Spurred by a desire to contribute meaningfully to the war effort, Lottie pours all of her focus and determination into becoming the best airplane mechanic in the division, working harder than she’s ever worked before.
Her grit impresses her handsome instructor, Captain Luke Woodward. But when the war ramps up and she is assigned to Pearl Harbor she must fight her growing feelings for Luke and navigate her role as one of the only female mechanics among a group of men, all while finding out what it means to be your own hero.
Comments: Apparently I was in a phase when I added these books to my TBR list. Maybe I was looking for books similar to those written by Sarah Sundin? Regardless, this also sounds like one I will enjoy.
#546. The Words I Never Wrote by Jane Thynne
Synopsis: New York, present day: On a whim, photographer Juno Lambert buys the 1931 Underwood typewriter that once belonged to celebrated journalist Cordelia Capel. Within its case she discovers an unpublished novel, igniting a transatlantic journey to fill the gaps in the story of Cordelia and her sister’s loving yet tempestuous relationship.
England, 1936: Cordelia’s socialite sister, Irene, marries a German man from a powerful family who whisks her away to Berlin. Cordelia remains in England to pursue the writing career she cherishes, but in the male-dominated world of journalism, she can only get hired as a typist. The sisters exchange letters as politics begin to boil in Europe and tensions come to a head when Cordelia discovers Irene’s husband is a Nazi sympathizer. Does that make Irene one by proxy? With increasing desperation, Cordelia writes to Irene, seeking to understand her loyalties. But the sisters’ letters don’t tell the whole story. So Cordelia decides to fill in the blanks by sitting down with her Underwood and—finally—writing the truth.
When Juno discovers the trove of letters the two exchanged, a vivid portrait of Berlin in the devastating years during and after the war comes into focus. In this moving novel, Jane Thynne offers an intimate glimpse into a lesser known side of World War II.
Comments: An entire novel left undiscovered in the typewriter case of a famous journalist? Impressive, but unlikely. I wonder if I added this book to my reading list solely because of the typewriter on the cover.
#547. Porch Swing Girl by Taylor Bennett
Synopsis: Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.
With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.
But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.
Comments: I’ve heard wonderful things about this book and this author, but it just sounds…unnecessarily complicated.
#548. Counted With the Stars by Connilyn Cosette
Synopsis: Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.
Choosing to flee with the Hebrews, Kiya finds herself reliant on a strange God and drawn to a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away and now facing the trials of the desert, will she turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?
Comments: Every time I shelve this author’s books I am struck by how beautiful the covers are. This one sounds really good!
#549. In the Key of Code by Aimee Lucido
Synopsis: In this innovative middle grade novel, coding and music take center stage as new girl Emmy tries to find her place in a new school. Perfect for fans of Girls Who Code series and The Crossover.
Comments: Sounds fun! This series reminds me of the American Girl series about Luciana, a girl who wants to be an astronaut. Her books have strong themes of friendship, family, and exploration.
#550. The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller
Synopsis: It’s 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.
Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva’s new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva’s history―and her heart.
Comments: I think I added this to my TBR list when I entered a giveaway for it. It doesn’t quite sound like it fits my taste, although it is historical fiction and similar to other things I’ve read.
Ending number of books on TBR list: 842
Are you looking forward to anything this week? Things are starting to be busier at the library again, and I’m helping with a youth lock-in at church next weekend.
Do you have any thoughts or comments about the books on my list this week?
Until the next chapter,