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 September 12, 2022. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 834 books. Today it has 842. I have gone through 570 books.
#571. Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini
Synopsis: After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work–but the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate.
As Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist. Mildred gathers intelligence for her American contacts, including Martha Dodd, the vivacious and very modern daughter of the US ambassador. Her German friends, aspiring author Greta Kuckoff and literature student Sara Weiss, risk their lives to collect information from journalists, military officers, and officials within the highest levels of the Nazi regime.
For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within. But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences.
Comments: Sounds promising.
#572. Chained by Lynne Kelly
Synopsis: After ten-year-old Hastin’s family borrows money to pay for his sister’s hospital bill, he leaves his village in northern India to take a job as an elephant keeper and work off the debt. He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn’t prepared for the cruel circus owner. The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal who plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but Hastin sees Nandita, a sweet elephant and his best friend, who is chained when she’s not performing and hurt with a hook until she learns tricks perfectly. Hastin protects Nandita as best as he can, knowing that the only way they will both survive is if he can find a way for them to escape.
Comments: Oh, this book will pull at all my heart strings. It’s a fairly popular middle grade book though, and with such a unique setting, I’m intrigued. I will probably keep putting off reading it, but it will at least stay on the list for now.
#573. A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen
Synopsis: When James Bowen found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet.
Yet James couldn’t resist helping the strikingly intelligent tom cat, whom he quickly christened Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.
Soon the two were inseparable and their diverse, comic and occasionally dangerous adventures would transform both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other’s troubled pasts.
Comments: This sounds wonderful, and I kind of can’t believe I have not read it yet since it has been on my radar for a few years.
#574. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
Synopsis: Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.
Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.
Comments: The American Library in Paris is one of my dream destinations. I have to read something that is partially set here.
#575. A Stash of One’s Own by Clara Parkes
Synopsis: This addictive-to-read anthology celebrates yarn—specifically, the knitter’s reputation for acquiring it in large quantities and storing it away in what’s lovingly referred to as a “stash.”
The stories in A Stash of One’s Own represent and provide validation for knitters’ wildly varying perspectives on yarn, from holding zero stash, to stash-busting, to stockpiling masses of it—and even including it in estate plans. These tales are for all fiber artists, spinners, dyers, crafters, crocheters, sheep farmers, shop owners, beginning knitters to yarn experts, and everyone who has ever loved a skein too hard to let it go.
Comments: I’m not sure if I absolutely love the premise of this anthology, or can’t quite take it seriously. As an avid knitter who occasionally engages in other yarn crafts, I completely relate to complicated feelings about yarn. Since my library has a copy I will keep this on the list.
#576. Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye by Geronimo Stilton
Synopsis: Who Is Geronimo Stilton? That’s me! I run a newspaper, but my true passion is writing tales of adventure. Here on Mouse Island, my books are all bestsellers! What’s that? You’ve never read one? Well, my books are full of fun. They are whisker-licking good stories, and that’s a promise!
It all started when my sister, Thea, discovered a mysterious map. It showed a secret treasure on a faraway island. And before I could let out a squeak of protest, Thea dragged me into her treasure hunt! In no time at all, we’d set sail for the island. It was an adventure I’d never forget….
Comments: I keep meaning to read a few books from this series to see if it is something that my nephew would enjoy. Clearly it hasn’t happened yet, so I need to prioritize this within the next few months.
#577. Becoming Nikki by Ashley Elliott
Synopsis: What would you do if you were given the opportunity to rebuild a broken relationship?
Alec and Nikki Scott are the perfect ice dancing duo, executing flawless technique and brilliant performance abilities each time they compete. No one doubts their camaraderie, not even their closest friends. But looks can be deceiving. Off the ice, their relationship is in shambles. Ice dancing is the only thing they have in common anymore… and Alec wants to quit.
Just as Nikki feels like their relationship can’t get any worse, an unexpected tragedy crashes into her life. She’s left struggling with a difficult choice as her opinion of her brother slowly starts to change. Whatever she decides, she knows her life will never be the same.
Comments: This book truly sounds like one that I would love to read, but the library doesn’t have it and it isn’t in my price range. I’ll keep it on the list through the end of the year; maybe I’ll end up with a giftcard that I could use for it.
#578. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot
Synopsis: Cats! Some are sane, some are mad and some are good and some are bad.
Enjoy the show!
With all your favourite cats, starring …
Macavity, the Mystery Cat
Mr Mistofelees, the Original Conjuring Cat
Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer
and many more!
Comments: When I read this title on my list, I had absolutely no idea what it was or where it came from. A little searching tells me it is, as implied, a collection of poems written by T.S. Eliot about cats. It is also supposedly the inspiration for the musical Cats.
#579. We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly
Synopsis: Cash loves basketball, Dr. J, and a girl named Penny; he’s also in danger of failing seventh grade for a second time. Fitch spends every afternoon playing Major Havoc at the arcade and wrestles with an explosive temper that he doesn’t understand. And Bird, his twelve-year-old twin, dreams of being NASA’s first female shuttle commander, but feels like she’s disappearing.
The Nelson Thomas siblings exist in their own orbits, circling a tense, crowded, and unpredictable household, dreaming of escape, dreaming of the future, dreaming of space. They have little in common except an enthusiastic science teacher named Ms. Salonga—a failed applicant to the Teacher in Space program—who encourages her students to live vicariously through the launch. Cash and Fitch take a passive interest, but Bird builds her dreams around it.
When the fated day arrives, it changes everything.
Comments: Stories involving spaceflight almost always intrigue me. This book has very mixed reviews, but I’m willing to give it a shot.
#580. American Rebels by Nina Sankovitch
Synopsis: Before they were central figures in American history, John Hancock, John Adams, Josiah Quincy Junior, Abigail Smith Adams, and Dorothy Quincy Hancock had forged intimate connections during their childhood in Braintree, Massachusetts. Raised as loyal British subjects who quickly saw the need to rebel, their collaborations against the Crown and Parliament were formed years before the revolution and became stronger during the period of rising taxes and increasing British troop presence in Boston. Together, the families witnessed the horrors of the Boston Massacre, the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and Bunker Hill; the trials and tribulations of the Siege of Boston; meetings of the Continental Congress; transatlantic missions for peace and their abysmal failures; and the final steps that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
American Rebels explores how the desire for independence cut across class lines, binding people together as well as dividing them—rebels versus loyalists—as they pursued commonly-held goals of opportunity, liberty, and stability. Nina Sankovitch’s new book is a fresh history of our revolution that makes readers look more closely at Massachusetts and the small town of Braintree when they think about the story of America’s early years.
Comments: This sounds fascinating! Maybe something to dive into next summer.
Ending number of books on TBR list: 842
I don’t remember ever doing one of these posts and not getting rid of a single book before. Is this a good thing, showing that I am at least being somewhat intentional about the books that I add to my to-read list? Or does it show a lack of backbone in being unwilling to let anything go? Either way, it is what it is, and I someday hope to read each of these.
Have you read any of the books on this week’s piece of the list?
Until the next chapter,