Well, after a brilliant week last week of slamming books of the list left and right, this week ended up being one of those where I found myself adding several to make up for it…
Added to the General TBR:
Well, I’m just going to tell it to you straight: I added six books this week!
While You Were Mine and A School for Unusual Girls both came as GoodReads recommendations. The first is a story about a young woman who has raised an abandoned baby during World War II, only to have the baby’s father come to claim her after the war. The second is about a “finishing” school just after the Napoleonic Wars that is actually teaching its students how to become spies.
Apparently I need to just stop reading Cleopatra’s blog, because she adds to the TBR very consistently! This week she intrigued me with not one, but two titles! The first is Another Day Gone by Eliza Graham. Cleo says:
I really enjoy books about consequences that occur far later than the initial act, decision or mistake but to pull this type of story off, you need great characters, ones whose behaviour and actions are recognisable as realistic, given the circumstances, at any point in the story. Eliza Graham has this absolutely nailed. I was transfixed and reached that stage of reading where I wanted to know the ending but simultaneously wanted to stay with the characters, for just a little bit longer.
Of course, she also warned that not everyone gets a happy ending, so maybe this isn’t the book for me!
The second title from Cleo is In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings, a psychological thriller that Cleo says has not only an engaging story, but engaging characters as well.
Of course, Cleo alone is not to blame. A review of Life of Pi (by Yann Martel) over at Rose Reads Novels reminded me that I have vague memories of enjoying that book when I read it many years ago, and would like to give it another go.
Finally, From First Page to Last reviewed The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. Janet says, “Don’t expect a mad dash of a story for this is a gently told tale. Sometimes that is just what is needed, gentle escapism. A lovely story, perfect to curl up with on a long winter evening.” So even though I probably won’t get to this book until January of 2037, I will at least be ready at that point for a nice comforting story.
Off the General TBR:
This was an unusual week for me – two books that I did not finish.
I started Boneman’s Daughters by Ted Dekker – I’ve read a few of his thrillers before and they were decent, but this one just wasn’t capturing me. I think it was because so often, if we spend time with the “bad guy,” the author feels a need to emphasize the bad guy’s craziness by giving him strange obsessions that I, as the reader, have to listen about at length. In this case, the bad guy had this bizarre thing about beautiful skin, and spent lots of time using specific lotions for specific regions of his body, and after about maybe the third or fourth time listening to a few paragraphs of this guy contemplating lotion, I was over it. And there just wasn’t anything else going for me in this book, so I let it go.
Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer started out alright – set in the midwest during the Depression, the main character is married to a storekeeper who is home for a month, and then spends the next month traveling about purchasing supplies for the store. Except it turns out that what he’s actually doing is visiting his other wife and children just a few towns over. In the first chapter, the main character finds out about this when the sheriff of that town shows up, tells her that the man and wife #2 (whom the sheriff thinks is the only wife, of course) have died and left their children to their “aunt.” While it felt like this could have been a good story, it was just too slow and too much of listening to various characters whine. Plus, wife #1’s son is just such a brat and is so mean to the new kids that I just couldn’t take it any more. The final nail in the coffin was a personal annoyance with third-person narratives that still title various sections with a character’s name to let me know whose thoughts we will be hearing. I’m not stupid, so I think I can figure out whose thoughts we’re reading when it is in the third person and you mention their name in the first sentence. I mean, sheesh.
I removed Infandous by Elana K. Arnold after reading a few reviews. I have zero scruples about knowing spoilers, and the spoilers for this book definitely made me realize that I did not want to read it.
Dragon Mystics is actually part of a series, so it got shifted over, and I’ve gone back and forth about reading Eligible, a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice, but every review I read really just makes me more convinced that I’ll actually hate it, so it’s back off the TBR again.
Ironically, no books were removed because I actually read and reviewed them, despite the bit where this is a book blog and that’s what I do… whoops.
All in all, five off the list.
Total for the General TBR: 843 (up one!)
Added to the Personal TBR:
These are books I have purchased, either in physical or ebook form, and that I haven’t read since I started blogging my reviews. It’s been on of those awkward weeks where I keep coming across free Kindle books that sound like fun…
At the Villa Rose by A.E.W. Mason (because I keep wanting to try some older mystery writers)
- More Than Pancakes by Christine Depetrillo (because I enjoy fluff sometimes and have always wanted to run a hotel of some kind)
- Maids of Misfortune by Louisa M. Locke (because even though most mysteries with a female protagonist set in the late 1800’s are terrible, every once in a while I come across one that’s brilliant)
- A Victorian Christmas Cottage by Catherine Palmer & others (because of that whole fluff thing)
- The Perfect Stranger by Wendy Corsi Staub (because I got this for free for filling out a survey and it sounds deliciously creepy)
So… five added!
Removed from the Personal TBR:
Sadly, none. My personal book that I read this week was the first in a trilogy (and will appear in the next batch of minireviews), so it won’t officially be off the list until I read book 3!
Total for the Personal TBR: 555 (up four… although it should be five… so apparently I can’t count somewhere… not unusual)
Added to the Series TBR:
Like I said, one book from the General TBR is now on the Series list. Other than that, I also added the Guardians Trilogy by Nora Roberts. I’ve found her books to be hit or miss in the past, and these sound a little crazy but still intriguing.
Removed from the Series TBR:
Still working my way through the Lynburn Legacy books (I read two of the short stories this week), so no progress here.
Total for the Series TBR: 139 (up two)
Added to the Mystery Series TBR:
I know that I’ve read some reviews about the Will Trent series by Karen Slaughter before, but Stephanie’s review of the most recent addition to that series, The Kept Woman, made me realize that I had somehow neglected to actually add the series to the list!
Removed from the Mystery Series TBR:
Still working on the Amanda Jaffe books. This week I reviewed the second book, Ties That Bind, and my next review should actually be the third in the series, Proof Positive, which was fantastic.
Total for the Mystery Series TBR: 64 (up one)
Added to the Nonfiction TBR:
Despite the fact that I have been reading exactly zero nonfiction titles lately, I still find myself intrigued by various nonfiction books, especially ones that choose something kind of random and tell all about it. Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid by Wendy Williams sounds exactly like the kind of book I would enjoy. It was brought to my attention by The Literary Sisters, who did a series this week on Really Underrated Books.
Removed from the Nonfiction TBR:
Nothing, but I am determined (ha!) to make progress here by next week!
Total for the Nonfiction TBR: 50 (up one)
Grand Totals for the Week: Fourteen added and five removed, so net gain of nine this week on the overall TBR!