TBR Highs & Lows


These are some of the books on my Goodreads “Want To Read” shelf that I’m most excited to crack open.


The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz. This looks so intriguing and I need to read it during Women in Translation Month.

After a failed popular uprising, citizens of a familiar, but fundamentally different, Egypt must petition The Gate to resolve even the smallest of every day affairs. Unfortunately, The Gate never opens and the queue before it grows longer day by day.

The Secrets of the Starbucks Lovers (Taylor Swift: Girl Detective #1) by Larissa Zageris, Illustrated by Kitty Curran. This just seems so darned hilarious that I HAVE to read it.

One of the world’s most famous pop stars moonlights as a girl detective in the grand tradition of Nancy Drew. In this installment, she helps a starlet solve the mystery of the threatening messages she receives on her skinny mochas.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I will admit that this book doesn’t sound all that interesting to me, but so many of my friends are R.A.V.I.N.G. over it that I have to see what the fuss is all about.

This book taps into the public’s fascination with the private lives of Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. In it, a legendary film actress reveals all–the twists and turns in her rise to the top, her love affairs and her closely guarded secrets.

The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Mallory Ortberg. I love a witty and clear-eyed take on the tales that have shaped our culture and ourselves. I’d also love to read Ortberg’s popular book, Texts from Jane Eyre, which sounds really funny and has particular appeal for this former English major.

In this book, Ortberg reinvents classic fairy tales with her trademark wit, feminist ideology, emotional honesty–all the while refusing to shy away from psychological horror.

Sunlight 24 by Merritt Graves. This sci-fi exploration of social inequities sounds fascinating. I’ve received an ARC of this from Netgalley and am looking forward to finding out if the story is as good as the premise.

Dorian Waters can’t afford the nano-implant that would help him gain an equal footing with other members of society. He can’t get a job; he can’t get into college and he can’t get the girl…


I’ve made space for more intriguing works on my Goodreads “Want to Read” shelf, by removing these five books.


Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel. I started to read this in 2012. Despite being about one of the most fascinating times in history and featuring one of the most fascinating characters –I just couldn’t get into it. Perhaps I wasn’t in the mood for it, or perhaps it really was as boring as I felt it to be. Deleting this from my TBR list feels like dropping a huge weight from my shoulders. I’ll also be deleting the second book, Bring Up the Bodies.

Ink is Thicker than Water by Amy Spalding. I may have put this on my TBR list as a reminder to pick up a copy for my daughter. In any case, the themes in this young adult book aren’t personally compelling, so I’ll make room for other books that excite me more.

Note to Self by Alina Simone. This book is about all the things that currently occupy a lot of my mental space, particularly the “search for a meaningful life in an era of rampant narcissism,” however, the reviews for this book are so low that I’ll seek enlightenment elsewhere.

The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert. I like a bit of gratuitous romance and sex, but I’ve lost patience with books where two characters are forced into a relationship and end up falling in love despite themselves. The notions of love and force shouldn’t be romanticized. Frankly, I’m not sure how this book ended up in my TBR list to begin with.

The Well-Ordered Home: Organizing Techniques for Inviting Serenity Into Your Life by Kathleen A. Kendall-Tackett. I must have been sniffing oven cleaner when I put this book into my TBR list. It’s not the sort of thing I would buy anyway. Usually, when I need tips of this sort, I ask my mother or browse Pinterest.

TBR Highs & Lows was inspired by Howling Libraries. The more who wish to participate, the merrier! Here are the rules:

  • Link back to the original post at Howling Libraries
  • Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, ascending
  • Find 5-10 (or more, if you feel ambitious!) titles to purge from your TBR (the “lows”)
  • Post those 5 books in the list, with a brief explanation of why you removed it
  • Next, sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, descending
  • List the last 5 (or more!) books you added to your TBR, with a synopsis or your brief summary of why you added it (the “highs”)


First Line Fridays: The Library at Mount Char


What’s the first line of the closest book to you? Leave me a comment, then head over to Hoarding Books for more great lines from great authors!

“Carolyn, blood-drenched and barefoot, walked alone down the two-lane stretch of blacktop that the Americans called Highway 78,”

~Scott Hawkins, The Library at Mount Char

My first line is from The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. From the blurb on Amazon/Goodreads, this book appears to be wholly unique. It’s about a woman, who once was an ordinary American, but then her parents died and she was taken in by a man known simply as Father. She and the other inhabitants of his home spend their time in a great library studying its secrets. They speculate that Father is actually God and the library holds the truth about creation–but then Father disappears leaving the library unguarded…

mount char

I cannot wait to dig into this one.


Ten Fantastic Mash-ups We Need Right Now

When I first read this week’s assignment for Top Ten Tuesday, my heart fell. It sounded like an impossibly difficult task:

Pick two books you think would make an epic story if combined.

Sometimes a challenge is a good thing. This made me think about some of my favorite stories in an entirely new way. And who knows? One of these mashups may inspire me for NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month).


1. Lady of the Forest by Jennifer Roberson (A Robin Hood re-telling) + One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey.

This could turn into a madcap romp, something akin to Cervantes’ Don Quixote, but contained within the walls of a mental asylum.

2. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll + One for the Money by Janet Evanovich.

Can you imagine Alice trying to track down criminals in wonderland, waffling between The Mad Hatter (Joseph Morelli) and The Cheshire Cat (Ranger), etc. Of course, the Queen of Hearts would morph into Joyce Bernhardt.

3. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys + Pinnochio (in reverse)

A person gradually becomes less human, but becomes more “perfect.”

4. Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare + Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick

A robot tries to make a human “nicer.”

5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley + Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

A scientist tries to make his monster master the social graces and falls in love.

6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte + The Little Mermaid

Some gothic shenanigans take place beneath the waves.

7. Aladdin’s Lamp + Emma by Jane Austen.

Social visits and match making get real interesting when a magical teapot appears.

8. Lord of the Flies by William Golding + 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James


9. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Iriving + Sherlock Holmes or Dana Skully (rational skeptic)

10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott + Ready Player One by Ernest Kline

It’d be interesting to see what Amy, Jo, Beth and Meg would get up to in a virtual reality world.


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week.

This week’s topic is Books You’d Mash Together (pick two books you think would make an epic story if combined) (Submitted by Rissi @ Finding Wonderland)