Top Ten Tuesday: My Spring TBR

Hey there!  It’s Top Ten Tuesday Time again, hosted by The Broke and Bookish – they’ve been on hiatus and I haven’t participated in one for a while.  But I do so love talking about TBRs – my own and yours as well!  It’s so much fun to anticipate the things we *might* read soon.  I am not a book planner, but I know some of you follow a pretty strict schedule. I’m very moody when it comes to reading, so I may get to these this Spring – or I may not!  I intend to read them sometime, in any case, so this list is partly based on what my library holds look like, and partly random.

All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan.  I WILL read this very soon, as it’s one of my choices for 746 Books’s Reading Ireland Month.  So I plan on taking it with me to the beach next week!

Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter by Ruth Rendell.  It’s been too long since I’ve read an Inspector Wexford mystery and this is the next one on the list (I’m working my way in order, very slowly.)

51Ma6eymR0L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_Exit West by Mohsin Hamid.  This one just sounds too good, and I’m high on my library’s hold list for it.

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez.  I’m going to suggest this as one of our book group’s choices when it’s my turn to host next month – I hope they choose it!

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.  I have to admit, I’m not super excited to read this, but I want to at least give it a try, since it’s such a big book for our moment in time.  If any of you guys have read it, please let me know what you think.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae.  I bought this on Kindle for $1.99 recently and it looks funny and sharp.

Whatever Happened to Interracial Love by Kathleen Collins.  Another recent super cheap Kindle find.  Short stories written by an African American woman in the 1960’s only just now published.165208

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay.  Love Roxane Gay.  More short stories.

Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki.  “A sinister, sexy noir about art, motherhood, and the intensity of female friendships” according to Goodreads.  I liked her first novel, California.

Happy All The Time by Laurie Colwin.  Romance and comedy of manners.

Have you read any of these?  Do you plan to?  Do you plan out your reading by month or season, or do you fly by the seat of your pants?  (And what’s up with that saying anyway?  That’s a weird one.)  What’s on your Spring TBR?

 

 

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Top Ten 2016 Books I Meant to Get to Last Year

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, hosted by The Broke and Bookish, is Top Ten Books from 2016 I Wanted to Read But Haven’t Yet.  There is only so much time in the day, what with having to work, converse with one’s husband and child, and binge-watch Supernatural – or whatever your priorities might happen to be.  I totally intend to read these ten books. Sometime.  You get it, right? 51tusm5ixll-_sx331_bo1204203200_

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race edited by Jesmyn Ward

9781594206856_custom-fe4eae454a97795906f50c3ff61245f8a47f095e-s300-c85The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Y. Dennis-Bennows_146853560754311

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

I could probably have chosen ten different books for this list, but these were the ones that leaped out at me as I perused my massive Goodreads list. Maybe you’ve read some of these?  Let me know what you think of them.  What shows were you binge-watching in 2016 instead of reading books? Is there one book from 2016 you wish you’d gotten to last year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated 2017 Books

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) required me to do a little research.  It’s the “Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to in the First Half of 2017.” I panicked a little.  Initially I could only think of two books coming out in 2017 that I knew about and was looking forward to reading.  Last year I relied on The Millions’ Most Anticipated List to clue me in to what was in store for 2016.  But that list wasn’t published until January 4 of last year.  (Look for the new one in a few weeks!)  I read a lot of backlist titles and tend to know about new books about a month or two in advance, once I start seeing them in magazines, blogs, and BookRiot.  However, with a little digging, I found nine titles that intrigue me.

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson.  Oh man, did I ever enjoy his previous thriller, The Kind Worth Killing.  It came out around the same time as that book about the Girl and the Train and I thought it was WAY better and deserved some of that book’s press.  So I am *really* excited for this one. (Jan. 10)

51semvp8mrl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Difficult Women by Roxane Gay.  Short stories + Roxane Gay = Laila happy.  (Jan. 3)

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.  Yes, it’s about that Lincoln.  From Goodreads:  “Set over the course of that one night and populated by ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief, the powers of good and evil, a novel – in its form and voice – completely unlike anything you have read before. It is also, in the end, an exploration of the deeper meaning and possibilities of life, written as only George Saunders can: with humor, pathos, and grace.”  (Feb. 14)

Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki.  I really liked her debut novel, California, and this one sounds like a winner.  “A sinister, sexy noir about art, motherhood, and the intensity of female friendships, set in the posh hills above Los Angeles.”  (May 9)

41-fxnlisol-_sx329_bo1204203200_The Leavers by Lisa Ko.  This won the 2016 Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction and it sounds terrific.  It “follows one young man’s search for his mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant who disappears when he’s 11 years old, after which he is adopted by a white family (from Goodreads.)”  (May 2)

The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey.  I tore through The Girl With All The Gifts in a couple of days.  I think this one’s set in the same universe – maybe a prequel?  I’m here for it. (May 2)

American Street by Ibi Zoboi.  YA Haitian immigrant experience in Detroit?  Sounds really good.  Also, the cover is stunning. (Feb. 14)

americanstreet_wblurbThe Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti.    “A father protects his daughter from the legacy of his past and the truth about her mother’s death in this thrilling new novel from the prize-winning author of The Good Thief.”   Plus, I really enjoyed her first novel, The Good Thief.   (March 28)

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz.  FictionFan gushed about this one on her blog, naming it her best crime novel of the year.  (It’s already out in Scotland – lucky!)  That’s all the endorsement I need.  (June 6)

Do any of these tempt your TBR?  Is there a 2017 release that you think I would like that I neglected to put on the list?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Top Ten Tuesday: Thankful For Books!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Broke and Bookish, is a Thanksgiving freebie.   I honestly don’t know who I’d be if I weren’t a reader.  I don’t know what else I’d do to get the education, enlightenment, companionship, and solace that books provide. Particularly now, when our nation is experiencing such a menacing and unsettling moment, books are providing a comfort to me that leaves me profoundly grateful.  I could have filled this list three times over, but these are the first ten that came to mind.

9780679886297Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman.  My first favorite book, at least the one I have memories of as a very young child.  I loved the different colored dogs and their crazy tree party!  I selected this not only because I loved it, but because my son loves it too!  He went through a phase where we read it every day, and it made me happy to be able to share a special book with him.

The Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene.  These are the first books I got obsessed with as an independent reader, largely because I found old copies that belonged to my aunt when she was a girl, the hardback ones with the yellow spines.  They’re horrible to read as an adult (seriously, don’t try it) but as a child they ignited my interest in mysteries.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.  Now’s here’s a children’s mystery that definitely holds up even for adults.  I read it somewhere around the age of 9 or 10, and I was utterly captivated.  I’ve reread it twice as an adult, and listened to the audio, and it’s just terrific.

l6un8d4jxqkpkgijh2wvenpm92u2tasakfhvt04wlqojg92b1yaa2rjjnw4wuxzl628ryfr86biudfyfxvrrp9khjzqrlk5vk8rln4mehx7dxj4xhbaqd26wnwsufBark, George by Jules Feiffer.  This picture book is a hilarious crowd-pleaser that I feature regularly in my preschool storytimes.  Parents and kids alike laugh out loud.

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone.  My son LOVES this book.  He thinks it’s hysterical when Grover implores the reader to stop turning pages!

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym.  A regular library patron recommended her to me some years ago, and I couldn’t be more grateful to her.  It was the first Pym I read, and I discovered an author that I knew I would love and reread for the rest of my life.  Her books are charming, witty, intelligent, with just a hint of melancholy.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.  I am just grateful that this book exists.  I’m grateful that it’s gotten a lot of press, and I feel like it deserves all the praise and even more.  It’s the kind of novel that transports and enlightens at the same time.  I’d make everyone read it if I could.

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson.  The book that introduced me to Atkinson, who is one of my all-time favorite authors.  It’s a knock-out literary mystery and introduces one of my favorite fictional characters, the world-weary but good-hearted Jackson Brodie.

51msjnecgylAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  I remember taking my time reading this beautiful, smart, romantic novel because I wanted to luxuriate in Adichie’s writing.  And the story!  Wow!

It’s Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness by Sylvia Boorstein.  In a very warm and relatable manner, Boorstein writes of her own mental struggles (particularly with anxiety) to elucidate Buddhist principles and how they can make a person feel happier.  I don’t identify as Buddhist but there is so much wisdom here.  I reread this one regularly.

I hope those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week enjoy your time, be it with family, friends, or just the solace of a good book and a cup of tea!  I know I’m looking forward to my five days off with family.  Let me know in the comments a book that you are thankful for; I would love to read about them.

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Titles Added To My TBR Lately

Who can resist a TBR list?  Certainly not this reader, so I felt compelled to participate in today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke And the Bookish.)  So here are the last ten books I’ve added to my TBR list (which is currently at a modest 376 titles) and my attempt at remembering why I added them (ha ha!)

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.  I added this after seeing it on Naz’s blog Read Diverse Books.  He featured it as part of his monthly My Lit Box subscription.  You can read about it here.30650040

Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age Story by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh. I think Naz marked this as “to-read” on Goodreads, but in any case,I need to read more books from a Muslim perspective, and I thought this had promise.

Mrs. Malory Investigates by Hazel Holt.  I added this because I found out that the author was a friend to one of my favorite writers, Barbara Pym, and wrote a biography of her.  I do enjoy the British mysteries, and I’m hoping this won’t be too much on the “cozy” side for me.

 A Lot to Ask: The Life of Barbara Pym by Hazel Holt.  The biography I just mentioned!28815474

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena.  I’ve seen this around the blogosphere, and a friend in my book group gave it four stars.  I like to read thrillers every now and then, especially to be able to recommend things to library patrons who enjoy that genre.

Girl Up by Laura Bates.  I found this on Katy’s blog (read about it here.)  Goodreads blurb says, “Hilarious, jaunty and bold, GIRL UP exposes the truth about the pressures surrounding body image, the false representations in media, the complexities of a sex and relationships, the trials of social media and all the other lies they told us.”

Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, J Richard Gott III.  I found this on FictionFan’s blog (here) and I really need some more science writing to feed my brain.  Plus, Neil deGrasse Tyson is super cool.

Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story by Timothy B. Tyson.  I found this through Jenny’s review on Shelf Love.  An examination of the racism in a small North Carolina town in the aftermath of a horrible 1970 hate crime from one of the area’s residents.

Happiness and Other Small Things of Absolute Importance by Haim Shapira.  A Goodreads friend gave this a five-star review, and I am always interested in books about happiness and living a “good life.”the-course-of-love

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton.  The story of an ordinary marriage over fourteen years, this came to my attention through Anne Bogel’s Modern Mrs. Darcy blog and her What Should I Read Next? podcast (which I love.)  I heard de Botton on Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast recently, and he just seems so incredibly smart and reasonable, so I definitely want to read some of his work.

I will probably only read one of these anytime soon, but I will get to these one day!  Have you read any of these?  What have you added to your TBR lately?  Let me know in the comments.

Top Ten Fall TBR Books

Y’all should know by now that I can’t resist a TBR list – mine or anybody else’s.  So I had to get in on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme, hosted by The Broke and Bookish, which is Top Ten Books on Your Fall TBR.  My Fall TBR is the same as my Winter, Spring, and Summer TBR.  It’s just one massive Goodreads list of 500+ titles that I add to and delete from constantly.  But these are the books that I’m most likely to read before the end of 2016.

  • White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi.  For my first ever R.I.P. Challenge!
  • The Sundial by Shirley Jackson.  Also for the R.I.P. Challenge.  I intend to eventually read everything Shirley Jackson has written.  This will be my fourth.
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.  I am SO READY for this one.
  • The rest of Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.  I started reading this in July, got halfway through, and had to turn in back in to the library because it had holds on it.  It STILL has holds on it, but I’m reading it now and I’m confident I’ll finish it this time.
  • Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley.  This just came in for me at the library this week.  This is a fun, light mystery series.
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.  I own it and I have heard NOTHING but good things about it.img_0325
  • Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.  This book has a New York City foodie setting, two things I like. Who knows, I may hate this, but I’m going to give it a try.
  • Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  My book group is reading it for this month!
  • Modern Lovers by Emma Straub.  I really enjoyed her last novel, The Vacationers, and I have high hopes for this one.
  • Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.  I am one of the biggest Boss fans you’ll ever meet. He and his music are everything to me.  I pre-ordered this the day I heard it was coming out.  My copy is heading to me through the mail as I write!

Have you read any of these?  What’s something you’ll be reading in the next couple of months?

Top (Seven) Books I Need to Reread That I First Read in High School

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, hosted by The Broke and Bookish, is a Back to School-related freebie, so we had a lot of leeway in the direction our lists could go this week.  I feel like there are some books that I read in high school (which, ahem, was 20+ years ago for me!) that I would really like to reread as an adult.  I know that as I change and grow as a person, so do my reading tastes change and grow.  I feel like these books deserve an adult eye.

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison.  I was a sophomore in high school when I was assigned this, and I feel like I was waaaaay too young to appreciate it.  Since I’ve been reading Morrison in the past year, I know that I MUST reread this from an adult perspective.51srBOCdgBL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  My mom was a big fan of the movie and the book, and I saw the movie at a fairly young age and fell in love with it.  I read the book probably somewhere around 9th grade.  Since then, I’ve become more aware of its problematic content.  So I definitely need to reread this through the prism of a more adult understanding of race in American history.
  • The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver.  She’s one of my favorite authors.  I read this as assigned reading in high school and I’m grateful that I got that opportunity.  I want to reread all of her earlier novels and her books of essays.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  I have NO excuse for not having read this since the 9th grade.  None.
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.  This was assigned at some point, possibly as a summer reading choice, I can’t remember.  I remember really enjoying it, but I don’t remember much else about it.  Worth a reread for sure!51KEr5saI2L
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  I didn’t read this in school, but read it as a child, and was drawn to it again after the Winona Ryder/Christian Bale/Claire Danes version came out in 1994.  But it’s been a very long time since then, so it made my list.
  • The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy.  This was an assigned book, perhaps for summer reading.  It’s a memoir about Conroy’s experience teaching on Daufuskie Island, SC (which he calls Yamacraw Island in the book.)  His one year teaching children of Gullah heritage in the late 1960’s was really interesting.

Here are three works I wish I’d been assigned in high school or college but never was:

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

I swear I’m going to read these – sometime!

Have you read any of these?  Has it been a while since you read them?  What are some titles that you think deserve a reread since your own school days?