Top of the TBR 6.25.19

(I’m a day late with this post, and I’ve basically fallen out of touch with everything and everyone over the last week or so, partially due to a mild family emergency. Fortunately that seems to be turning around for the better, and catching up on Top of the TBR seemed like the easiest way to start getting back into the swing of things. I should also have a few reviews and tags coming up this week, and I’ll be catching up on blog posts I’ve missed over the last few days as well. Probably no one noticed my absence, but if you did, know that I missed being here and talking about books! Here’s to hoping for a better week ahead.)

Top of the TBR is a weekly post I created that will showcase any new books added to my Goodreads TBR recently, with a short explanation of why each title caught my interest. I’ll aim for 5-10 books per post; in weeks that I’ve added more than that, I’ll hold some back, and in weeks that I don’t have enough, I’ll include titles I haven’t discussed yet. Each title will be linked back to its Goodreads page for anyone interested in exploring further, as I’m not a fan of copy/pasting synopses. Anyone who wants to take part in this series with me is absolutely welcome! Please link back to any of my Top of the TBR posts so I can see what you’re reading! 🙂

Here are some of the new books I’ve added on Goodreads over the last week:

43821991. sy475 The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff (Pub: Sept 2019)

How I found it: I came across this lovely post by Ren at What’s Nonfiction, full of some great upcoming nonfiction titles, and I couldn’t resist this one.

Why I added it: 9/11 is one of the “historic” events I’m most interested in reading about, probably because I was actually alive to remember this one, and also because I find plane crashes of all kinds morbidly fascinating.

Priority: Middling. I would love to read this as soon as it’s released, but Sept/Oct are my busiest times of the year, when it’s harder for me to get my hands on new books. I am making an effort to incorporate more nonfiction into my reading this summer, and I’m really hoping that will continue as a general reading practice forever, so hopefully I’ll get to this in a reasonable amount of time.

44901909. sy475 Cursed by Frank Miller and Thomas Wheeler (Pub: Oct 2019)

How I found it: In a Netflix ad on Instagram, if I remember correctly.

Why I added it: Mostly to keep it on my radar. This is slated to be released as a Netflix series in 2020, which I’ll probably want to check out at that time. I’ve seen it described as a gender-bent King Arthur retelling, focusing on the Lady of the Lake, whom I’ve found very intriguing since reading Meg Cabot’s Avalon High way back in middle school.

Priority: Low. I haven’t looked at reviews yet, so I’m not sure how interested I’ll actually be in picking this one up. I might save it for closer to the adaptation release in any case.

36863721. sy475 A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh (Pub: 1934)

How I found it: I bought a book for my friend’s birthday coming up in July, and last week found out she’d just gone out and bought the same book for herself. I started looking through the Penguin English Library set for a replacement gift, and in the meantime managed to find a couple of titles I’m interested in myself.

Why I added it: Gothic mansion; a combination of comedy, tragedy, and irony; high class affairs. Everything from the synopsis appeals to me, and I haven’t yet read anything by Waugh, though I want to.

Priority: Middling. I haven’t been reading many classics this year, and I miss them. I’m hoping I can find a copy and squeeze this in to the second half of 2019 somehow.

14743257The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (Pub: June 1905)

How I found it: Same as above.

Why I added it: I really liked Wharton’s Ethan Frome last year and have been meaning to read more of her work. I saw this passage in the synopsis and was immediately sold: “The House of Mirth shocked the New York society it so deftly chronicles, portraying the moral, social and economic restraints on a woman who dared to claim the privileges of marriage without assuming the responsibilities.”

Priority: Middling. Same reasons as above.

38589871Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller (Pub: July 2018)

How I found it: I follow Fuller on Goodreads because I love her reviews, and similarly think I would love her novels… except I have never tried any them because I’m terrible at prioritizing.

Why I added it: Every Claire Fuller synopsis sounds perfect for me, and I’ve had a copy of Swimming Lessons on my shelf for years because I’m just so sure she’ll be a match for me. But as with other authors that I’ve been meaning to read multiple titles from, sometimes starting with the most recent helps me finally get going, so I’m thinking of trying that here.

Priority: High, except I want to read this in the fall and (again) that’s the hardest time of year for me to get my hands on new books. But I need to read at least one Fuller novel this year, someone please hold me to this!

32600212. sy475 Madame Zero: 9 Stories by Sarah Hall (Pub: July 2017)

How I found it: I read Hall’s Mrs Fox earlier this year, and loved the story enough that I went searching for more of Hall’s work, and found this collection that includes that short story.

Why I added it: After hunting for it on Goodreads, someone specifically recommended this to me, which further cemented my decision to read it.

Priority: Middling. Now that I’m at an impasse with the Faber Stories collection (the last two I need to buy have become too expensive for me to condone buying them) I’m looking to pick up more full collections of short stories to keep up with my short story goal for this year. But I don’t have a copy of this one yet, which always complicates things.

42505366Wilder Girls by Rory Power (Pub: July 2019)

How I found it: I honestly don’t remember, but so many readers are anticipating this one that it’s been all over upcoming releases posts.

Why I added it: YA horror is a genre I haven’t spent much time with, but if this is what it’s like, I want to. A quarantined school, a missing girl, LGBTQ+ rep, and THAT COVER.

Priority: High. This a new release I’m really hoping to pick up a copy of right away in July.

7871256The Turn of the Screw and Daisy Miller by Henry James (Pub: 1878)

How I found it: I actually found this cool vintage copy from the 60’s in my grandparent’s house when they moved out, in a box of books they were going to THROW AWAY.

Why I added it: I’ve been meaning to read this for years, ever since I found it, but I’m looking to read it more urgently now; The Turn of the Screw is a story I want to read before the second season of The Haunting of Hill House (a 2020 release, I believe) and also Ruth Ware’s imminent novel, The Turn of the Key. I also need to read Daisy Miller before I pick up The Maze at Windermere, which has been on my TBR for months.

Priority: high. These are short stories that I already own and have a lot of excitement for. If I don’t get to them this summer for whatever reason, I’ll certainly pick this up in the fall.


And that’s that. I had a really slow book-adding week on Goodreads what with my hiatus from most social media and the internet in general, so in addition to the four books new to my want-to-read shelf, I’ve also included four older titles that for one reason or another caught my attention today. There’s definitely a classics-and-horror trend here; I’m loving the summer weather but really looking forward to fall reading.

Have you read any of these titles, or recognize them from your own TBR? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


The Literary Elephant


10 thoughts on “Top of the TBR 6.25.19”

  1. I hope you enjoy Claire Fuller! I’ve read a couple of her novels (including Bitter Orange) and really liked both. I’m so excited for Wilder Girls as well! That cover is everything.

    Also, here’s hoping the week ahead is a better one for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! Being back in the bookish corners of the internet is certainly helping. 🙂

      I can’t believe I haven’t picked up any of Claire Fuller’s novels yet, but knowing you enjoyed them should help motivate me to get around to them at last. And I’ll look forward to your review of Wilder Girls- I hope it’s as good as it looks!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I did find the upcoming titles post very helpful, and am looking forward to picking up a copy of The Only Plane in the Sky as soon as possible. I’m just starting to really enjoy nonfiction, so I’m glad to have found your account!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I noticed you hadn’t been around! I hope things settle down soon.

    I didn’t know that you liked young adult horror novels. I just reviewed one this week, called Dust Bath Revival. I wonder if you would like it? I got a fairly inexpensive copy on Amazon through the Kindle app.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      I like horror novels for all ages, I believe. Coraline was one of my first ever favorite books, though that’s perhaps even a bit younger than YA. I’ve added Dust Bath Revival to my TBR for now (I always appreciate recommendations!) but zombies are my least favorite horror element so I’m not sure it’ll be a good fit for me. But surprises do happen, so I’ll keep it in mind!


  3. Oooh that Madame Zero cover! Also I’m looking forward to your thoughts on Wilder Girls – I also have that one on my TBR because it sounds amazing, but… YA! I’m not sure how this will go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it stunning?!
      I’ll definitely take the chance on Wilder Girls, but I’ll be cautious as well- I think all I’ve heard about it so far is anticipatory hype, no actual reviews. I hope it lives up to its cover!

      Liked by 1 person

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